Definition of deism in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdeɪɪz(ə)m/
Pronunciation: /ˈdiːɪz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
Belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. Compare with theism.
Example sentences
  • He reacts against the heresy of deism, the belief that God wound up the universe in the beginning but lets it run without intervention.
  • Not only was Newton not a deist; he believed deism heretical and harmful.
  • As a prelude to this Genesis-geology controversy, the eighteenth century also witnessed the spread of two competing but largely similar worldviews: deism and atheism.



Pronunciation: /ˈdeɪɪst/
Pronunciation: /ˈdiːɪst/
Example sentences
  • Not only was Newton not a deist; he believed deism heretical and harmful.
  • Indeed he did, but he used it in connection with a deist theology that, however thin, gave him reason to think of humanity as having a value derived from a creator.
  • By the middle of the eighteenth century, though, these long-held beliefs were beginning to be called into question, and the European deists were the primary inquisitors.


Pronunciation: /deɪˈɪstɪk/
Pronunciation: /diːˈɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • Some of the many positions on creationism include progressive, deistic, theistic, ex nihilo, and directive creationism.
  • The worldview of the society around us is deistic at best and we follow our culture in not giving too much credence to speculations about demons or spirits.
  • Theological speculation and deistic tendencies were much discussed and much feared.


Pronunciation: /deɪˈɪstɪk(ə)l/ Pronunciation: /diːˈɪstɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • In 1732 he published The Case of Reason, arguing faith against deistical scepticism.
  • A number of deistical societies, ‘temples of reason,’ and newspapers devoted to rational religion were launched.
  • A few testimonies from the least exceptionable of deistical writers must suffice on this topic.


Late 17th century: from Latin deus 'god' + -ism.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: deism

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.