Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
  • noun One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
  • noun One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.
  • adjective Relating to or being an agnostic.
  • adjective Doubtful or noncommittal.
  • adjective Computers Operable or functioning using any operating system or other digital technology. Often used in combination.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of a class of thinkers who disclaim any knowledge of God or of the ultimate nature of things. They hold that human knowledge is limited to experience, and that since the absolute and unconditioned, if it exists at all, cannot fall within experience, we have no right to assert anything whatever with regard to it.
  • Pertaining to the agnostics or their doctrines; expressing ignorance or unknow-ableness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Professing ignorance; involving no dogmatic; pertaining to or involving agnosticism.
  • noun One who professes ignorance, or denies that we have any knowledge, save of phenomena; one who supports agnosticism, neither affirming nor denying the existence of a personal Deity, a future life, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who holds to a form of agnosticism, especially uncertainty of the existence of a deity.
  • adjective Of or relating to agnosticism or its adherents.
  • adjective Doubtful or uncertain about the existence or demonstrability of God or other deity.
  • adjective computing A software component (or other entity) that is unaware or noncommittal regarding the specific nature of the components with which it interacts; polymorphic; modular; pluggable
  • adjective Having no firmly held opinions on an issue or matter of uncertainty.

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

  • adjective uncertain of all claims to knowledge
  • noun someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something
  • adjective of or pertaining to an agnostic or agnosticism
  • noun a person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist)

Etymologies

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

a-1 + Gnostic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1870; coined by Thomas Huxley. Either from Ancient Greek ἄγνωστος (agnōstos, "ignorant, not knowing") or from a- + Gnostic. Deriving (either way) from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-, "not") + γιγνώσκω (gignōskō, "I know").

Examples

Comments

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  • I just don't know.

    May 10, 2009

  • I guess it evens out, ezzackly, 'cause y'see, I think many people who call themselves agnostic are actually atheists!

    May 9, 2009

  • I've turned so many people on to this word. Many people who refer to themselves as atheist are not.

    May 9, 2009

  • Scored a bingo with scrabble.

    September 26, 2008

  • "The only thing I know is that I know nothing" - Socrates

    January 23, 2007