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)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for agape

Synonyms: Adjective or adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of agape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb Tracey stood stock still for a second, her mouth agape. Longreads, "Switch at Birth — But How?," 9 Apr. 2021 In the video, Silva appears oblivious to the request and continues to pace the length of the cell and stare out of its hallway-facing window, his mouth agape. Kelly Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County agrees to pay $3.5M to settle 2018 jail death," 5 Apr. 2021 These developments have left many in the conventional art world agape. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "NFTs Are Shaking Up the Art World—But They Could Change So Much More," 22 Mar. 2021 Jane, the original No. 1 stunner: plush lips slightly agape to reveal perfectly imperfect teeth, domino-thin and smoke in her marble blue irises, the prototype that Kate Moss ran with. Washington Post, "Jane Birkin is back with a new album, but her presence is everlasting," 19 Mar. 2021 Other videos showed dogs, mouths agape, jumping, sniffing and pawing through untouched snow. NBC News, "Frolicking pandas, horses and dogs: Here are videos of animals playing in the snow," 1 Feb. 2021 Early this month, millions of pounds of oysters in leases that line Plaquemines Parish's west bank -- creatures that had been healthy and alive the week before -- were found dead, their mouths agape. Halle Parker | Staff Writer,, "Massive, unexplained bivalve die-off sends many Louisiana oystermen back to square one," 31 Jan. 2021 The rental car bounced awkwardly through deep South Dakota ruts, and Jeff Budz paused, mouth agape, while considering his response. Brian Lovett, Outdoor Life, "The King of the Turkey Slam," 26 Jan. 2021 But suddenly, his eyelids drew down hard and his mouth fell agape. CBS News, "U.S. executes drug trafficker who recently contracted COVID," 15 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about agape

Statistics for agape

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Agape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on agape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for agape

Nglish: Translation of agape for Spanish Speakers 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!