Definition of apophatic
: of or relating to apophasis (see apophasis 2) : involving the practice of describing something by stating which characteristics it does not have an apophatic description It was a reactive consciousness, embedded mainly in an apophatic discourse. — Amila Buturovic, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Summer 1995; especially : of, relating to, or being negative theology apophatic theology the Christian apophatic tradition The deepest truth in all things is numinous, these apophatic masters taught, beyond reason, beyond language. — Tim Lilburn, Fiddlehead, January 1993 … a humility that recognizes that all theology has both eschatological and apophatic dimensions. — Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal, 5 June 2009 We'll … move on to Thomas Aquinas, in whom we can see that God's best hope is apophatic silence. — John Crace, The Guardian (London), 7 July 2009
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Origin and Etymology of apophatic
borrowed from Medieval Latin apophaticus “negative, negating,” borrowed from Greek apophatikós, adjective derivative of apóphasis “denial”
First Known Use: 1850See Words from the same year
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