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
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up apophatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).