Definition of agnostic in English:

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Pronunciation: /aɡˈnästik/


A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
Example sentences
  • Although not all Skeptics are agnostics, as an agnostic himself Dr Groves sees no evidence for accepting or rejecting the idea of any belief.
  • Sagan himself routinely described himself as an agnostic, and believed that the question of God's existence is inherently outside science.
  • As it is, my thinking has been influenced by Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Neo-pagans, Baha'i, agnostics and atheists.


1Relating to agnostics or agnosticism.
Example sentences
  • So that wrestling is characteristic of my religious or agnostic poetry, but not necessarily everything else I do.
  • It has brought greater understanding and even some agreement among people of diverse backgrounds and concerns, ranging from agnostic seekers to people of traditional faith.
  • I'm writing, in a sense, from a kind of agnostic outsider's academic perspective rather than from an inside perspective.
1.1(In a nonreligious context) having a doubtful or noncommittal attitude toward something: until now I’ve been fairly agnostic about electoral reform
More example sentences
  • He is said to be largely agnostic about football.
  • Alone, free from the fearful burden of the faithful, I felt myself slip back into my natural agnostic relationship with the world.
  • Like de Valera, I am largely agnostic on the issue.
1.2 [usually in combination] Computing Denoting or relating to hardware or software that is compatible with many types of platforms or operating systems: many common file formats (JPEG, MP3, etc.) are platform-agnostic
More example sentences
  • You need only beware of phishing posts, which are, of course, platform-agnostic.
  • It's platform-agnostic, which makes it really valuable.
  • In these days of heterogeneous computing, the ability to be OS-agnostic is becoming increasingly more important.



Pronunciation: /aɡˈnästəˌsizəm/
Example sentences
  • She has explored various religions and ways of thought throughout her life, from Christianity to agnosticism and Taoism to animism and shamanism to Gnosticism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • This would imply not only teaching the main religions, but also placing more emphasis on other thought systems that are not religious - like atheism and agnosticism.
  • The chapter ends with relatively short accounts of Christianity and Islam, and a concluding section on agnosticism, atheism and secularism.


Mid 19th century: from a-1 'not' + gnostic.

  • This word was actually invented by a specific person and then successfully entered the language. It was coined by the Victorian biologist Thomas Huxley (1825–95) to describe his own beliefs: he did not believe in God but did not think one could say for sure that God did not exist. Before Huxley devised agnostic there was no word for such a religious position. He is said to have first used it in 1869 at a party held in Clapham, London, prior to the formation of the Metaphysical Society. Huxley formed the word from the Greek a- ‘not’ and gnostos ‘known’.

Words that rhyme with agnostic

acrostic, diagnostic, gnostic, prognostic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ag·nos·tic

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