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adjective or adverb

ə-ˈgāp How to pronounce agape (audio)
 also  -ˈgap
: wide open : gaping
with mouth agape
: being in a state of wonder
stood agape before the gothic cathedral


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Examples of agape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective or adverb
The record stops spinning, and fellow Barbies and Kens stop dancing and stare with mouths agape. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 3 July 2023 The Newbury Park runner’s mouth was agape, sucking in air to fill depleted lungs that had just fueled him to a first-place finish at the Woodbridge Cross-Country Classic at SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2021 Heather and Whitney are literally agape. Kate Aurthur, Variety, 11 Sep. 2021 Within the gallery, the ants hide inside small holes, jaws agape. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 1 May 2012 One juror’s mouth was agape throughout the testimony; other jurors’ brows were furrowed. Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2022 The two players stood next to each other for a photo, and people on Twitter are reacting with virtual mouths agape. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Oct. 2022 Shaun Welman, a zoologist at Nelson Mandela University, has seen penguins sitting with eyes shut, heads drooped and beaks agape in the punishing midday heat, struggling to protect their eggs. Ryan Truscott, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2022 Philadelphia’s shocking loss, removing the last undefeated team in the league, still has some jaws agape. Chris Morris, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'agape.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

Adjective Or Adverb

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of agape was in 1536

Dictionary Entries Near agape

Cite this Entry

“Agape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


 also  ə-ˈgap
: having the mouth open in wonder or surprise
the crowd stood agape at the sight

More from Merriam-Webster on agape

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