• Greek: monos, single; physis, nature


An heretical sect which arose in the 5th century, teaching that there was but one nature in Christ, as a reaction against Nestorianism. Nestorius had held that in Our Lord there was both a human hypostasis or person and a divine. Some early Monophysites, prominent among whom was Eutyches, archimandrite of a monastery near Constantinople, endeavored to save the unity of the Word Incarnate by suppressing the human nature. Other members of the sect spoke of a single combined nature which was both human and divine. Outstanding among the first exponents of Monophysitism were Dioscurus (condemned at Chalcedon in 451) and Timothy Ælurus, both patriarchs of Alexandria. This heresy still prevails in the East among the Copts and the Syrian Jacobites.

MLA Citation

  • “Monophysitism”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 May 2009. Web. 25 January 2022. <>