adjective or adverb
\ ə-ˈgāp How to pronounce agape (audio) 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 How to pronounce agape (audio) , ˈä-gə-ˌpā How to pronounce agape (audio) \

Definition of agape (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for agape

Synonyms: Adjective or adverb

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Examples of agape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb Weinstein's mouth was agape as the verdict was read, and his defense attorney Donna Rotunnowas seen shaking her head. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Harvey Weinstein found guilty of third degree rape, escapes predatory sexual assault conviction," 24 Feb. 2020 The cube itself would tilt down at a 45-degree angle and pivot around DeadMau5 behind his station — sometimes wearing his mouse helmet with glowing green eyes and agape mouth — letting fans and star get a good look at each other. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Despite being sick, DeadMau5 masters his craft at Wisconsin Center spectacle in Milwaukee," 15 Dec. 2019 This version of Harland Sanders is slim and dewy-eyed, with his mouth always slightly agape. Soleil Ho,, "Is America ready for a Colonel Sanders computer game?," 16 Sep. 2019 The residents of Passy, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Paris, stood agape and apart and afraid. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "A Play with No End," 22 July 2019 The father of three shared a photo of himself to social media in which his mouth was agape and his eyes wide open. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson avoids putting together his daughter's Barbie house and we get it," 18 June 2019 Some stretch downward, jaws agape; these are gargoyles, who vomit out the runoff of the rain (above). Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for agape

Time Traveler

The first known use of agape was in 1536

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Cite this Entry

“Agape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for agape


\ ə-ˈgāp How to pronounce agape (audio) \

Kids Definition of agape

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with agape

Spanish Central: Translation of agape

Nglish: Translation of agape for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about agape

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