ap·​o·​phat·​ic | \ ˌa-pə-ˈfa-tik How to pronounce apophatic (audio) \

Definition of apophatic

: of or relating to apophasis (see apophasis sense 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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First Known Use of apophatic

1850, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apophatic

borrowed from Medieval Latin apophaticus "negative, negating," borrowed from Greek apophatikós, adjective derivative of apóphasis "denial"

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The first known use of apophatic was in 1850

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Cite this Entry

“Apophatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apophatic. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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