\ə-ˈgāp also -ˈgap \

Definition of agape 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : wide open : gaping with mouth agape

2 : being in a state of wonder stood agape before the gothic cathedral


aga·​pe | \ä-ˈgä-(ˌ)pā, ˈä-gə-ˌpā\

Definition of agape (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for agape

Synonyms: Adjective or adverb

agog, anticipant, anticipatory, expectant

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Examples of agape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb

Last week, or maybe the week before (the days fly by so fast), reporters were all agape with surprise that the electron was round. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Physicists report electron is round—what does that mean?," 7 Nov. 2018 The mouth-agape moment captured during the awards show broadcast quickly became a gif, circulating through the Twitter-verse. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Garner Just Responded to Her Viral Oscars Meme in the Most Hilarious Way," 6 Mar. 2018 Newton’s law: Newton defied physics and redeemed himself during an inconsistent senior year with the game winner that left fans’ jaws agape and him at the bottom of a pile of teammates. Linda Robertson, miamiherald, "Miami stuns North Carolina as Newton’s 35-foot shot beats the buzzer and the Tar Heels | Miami Herald," 28 Feb. 2018 His mouth was agape and like, 'Now, wait a minute, wait a minute,' and this cop put a billy club under his chin and started marching him. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Music What caused the melee outside a Public Enemy and Sonic Youth show at the Aragon in 1990?," 23 Feb. 2018 The shell, however, is always somewhat agape, and the animal is visible all around except at the hinge. David Berger, The Seattle Times, "Love at low tide: We’re still digging those delicious razor clams," 25 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'agape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of agape

Adjective or adverb

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for agape

Adjective or adverb

a- entry 1 + gape entry 1


borrowed from Late Latin agapē, borrowed from Greek agápē "brotherly love," back-formation from agapân "to regard with affection, be fond of, be contented (with)" or agapázein "to welcome warmly," perhaps from a base *aga-pā- "lavish protection, attention or affection (on)," literally, "protect greatly," going back to Indo-European *m̥ǵh2- "large, great" + *peh2- "protect" — more at much entry 1, fur entry 1

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Statistics for agape

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for agape

The first known use of agape was in 1536

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More Definitions for agape



English Language Learners Definition of agape

: having the mouth open because of wonder, surprise, or shock


\ə-ˈgāp \

Kids Definition of agape

: having the mouth open in wonder, surprise, or shock He stood there with mouth agape.

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More from Merriam-Webster on agape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with agape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for agape

Spanish Central: Translation of agape

Nglish: Translation of agape for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about agape

Comments on agape

What made you want to look up agape? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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