Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge.
  • adj. Of or relating to Gnosticism.
  • n. A believer in Gnosticism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to, intellectual or spiritual knowledge
  • adj. Of, or relating to Gnosticism
  • n. A believer in Gnosticism

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Knowing; wise; shrewd.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to Gnosticism or its adherents.
  • n. One of the so-called philosophers in the first ages of Christianity, who claimed a true philosophical interpretation of the Christian religion. Their system combined Oriental theology and Greek philosophy with the doctrines of Christianity. They held that all natures, intelligible, intellectual, and material, are derived from the Deity by successive emanations, which they called Eons.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having knowledge; possessing mystic or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things.
  • Worldly-wise; knowing; clever or smart.
  • [capitalized] Pertaining to the Gnostics or to Gnosticism; cabalistic; theosophic.
  • n. A member of one of certain rationalistic sects which arose in the Christian church in the first century, flourished in the second, and had almost entirely disappeared by the sixth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. possessing intellectual or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things
  • adj. of or relating to Gnosticism
  • n. an advocate of Gnosticism

Etymologies

Late Latin Gnōsticus, a Gnostic, from Late Greek Gnōstikos, from Greek gnōstikos, concerning knowledge, from gnōsis, knowledge; see gnosis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek γνωστικός (gnōstikos, "relating to knowledge"), from γνωστός (gnōstos, "known"), from γιγνώσκω (gignōskō, "I know"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Yet a clue as to why this should be so lies in the fact that the early Church Fathers regarded the word Gnostic as being synonymous with ‘heretic’—and Simon was a Gnostic although, not, as they believed, the founder of Gnosticism.

    The Templar Revelation

  • April DeConick on The Forbidden Gospels blog muses on a substitute for the term Gnostic - transtheism or supratheism, follows up her discussion and settles on transtheism.

    hyperekperissou

  • It would be like calling someone a spic or a Hebe—the label Gnostic was made up by the same people who rejected them.

    Change of Heart

  • "There is not the faintest sign that such words have any reference to what we call Gnostic terms."

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon

  • Teacher, and supplies converts with practical precepts for their guidance; whilst in the Stromata, or Miscellanies, we have a description of what he calls the Gnostic or perfect Christian.

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution

  • He also remains adamantly against what he calls Gnostic thinkers (prophets) and the movements that follow them.

    Progressive U - The new media voice for students

  • MEYER: The word "Gnostic" comes from the Greek "gnosis," which means knowledge, but it's not the kind of knowledge that you simply get out of books, but, rather, it is mystical knowledge.

    CNN Transcript Dec 24, 2008

  • A small team aboard the ship Gnostic, is used to alter any uneventful outcome by playing off the Lild's religious foundations.

    REVIEW: The New Space Opera 2 edited by Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan

  • Haven, would frequently say to me that the great disaster of Kabbalah was its Neoplatonic scheme or myth of emanation — the sephirot — and that he greatly preferred what he called the Gnostic kabbalah of the early Merkavah mystics, which he thought had been renewed by Moses Cordovero, who was the teacher of

    An Interview with Harold Bloom

  • And so, coming down through the centuries, since the Christian time, you will find the word Gnostic used every now and again, but more often the term "Theosophist" and

    London Lectures of 1907

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