- an early Christian doctrine that the sufferings of Christ were apparent and not real and that after the crucifixion he appeared in a spiritual body.
- Roman Catholic Church. an ancient heresy asserting that Jesus lacked full humanity.
- (in the early Christian Church) a heresy that the humanity of Christ, his sufferings, and his death were apparent rather than real
1846, heresy of the Docetae, who held that the body of Jesus was a phantom, from Greek Doketai, name of the sect, literally “believers,” from dokein “to seem, have the appearance of, think,” related to doxa (see decent).