agnosticism

noun
ag·​nos·​ti·​cism | \ag-ˈnä-stə-ˌsi-zəm, əg-\

Definition of agnosticism 

: an agnostic quality, state, or attitude:

a : the view that any ultimate reality (such as a deity) is unknown and probably unknowable : a philosophical or religious position characterized by uncertainty about the existence of a god or any gods Religious agnosticism may accept the ethical value of a religious way of living and even endorse religious ideas as a viable basis for understanding various aspects of human existence.— Gary Gutting

b : an attitude of doubt or uncertainty about something This purposeful agnosticism, which served the tobacco industry well, will sound eerily familiar to anyone following the global warming "debate"—another case in which a few pedigreed skeptics, whose views align with those of a powerful industry, are framing consensus as controversy.— Jonathan Miles The developers of quantum mechanics, attempting to describe the electron's charge or mass or momentum or energy or spin in almost every new equation, nevertheless maintained a silent agnosticism about certain issues of its existence.— James Gleick

First Known Use of agnosticism

1848, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about agnosticism

Share agnosticism

Dictionary Entries near agnosticism

agnosia

agnosis

agnostic

agnosticism

agnostid

Agnostus

Agnotozoic

Statistics for agnosticism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for agnosticism

The first known use of agnosticism was in 1848

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on agnosticism

Nglish: Translation of agnosticism for Spanish Speakers

Comments on agnosticism

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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