athe·​ism | \ ˈā-thē-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce atheism (audio) \

Definition of atheism

1a : a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
b : a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
2 archaic : godlessness especially in conduct : ungodliness, wickedness

Examples of atheism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web First and foremost, Christmas was a holiday that brought together many Hungarians each year to contemplate and reflect on their faith, and thus a direct threat to the regime’s militant atheism and its ongoing war on Hungarian churches. Stephen Sholl, National Review, "A Communist Christmas Story," 25 Dec. 2020 In a tradition of celebrity disappearances that extends from pilot Amelia Earhart to union boss Jimmy Hoffa, O'Hair, largely regarded as the godmother of American atheism, simply dropped off the radar screen. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "11 captivating South Texas tales," 8 Dec. 2020 Using the neo-Western to convey contemporary secular antagonism is akin to flag-burning atheism. Armond White, National Review, "Let Him Go: A Morally Superior Neo-Western," 6 Nov. 2020 Such bigoted associations between atheism and immorality do not align with reality. Phil Zuckerman, The Conversation, "Why is it so hard for atheists to get voted in to Congress?," 5 Oct. 2020 One recent study, for example, found that Americans even intuitively link atheism with necrobestiality and cannibalism. Phil Zuckerman, The Conversation, "Why is it so hard for atheists to get voted in to Congress?," 5 Oct. 2020 In addition to blasphemy, atheism is frowned upon by many in the majority Muslim north as well as in parts of the mostly Christian south. Eoin Mcsweeney And Stephanie Busari, CNN, "The WhatsApp voice note that led to a death sentence," 29 Sep. 2020 Lewis famously became a devout Christian after years of atheism following his mother’s death and his own service in World War I. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine, "Stone Sculptures of ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ Characters to Adorn Medieval Church," 21 Aug. 2020 That exposure to Judaism, along with what Rabbi Steinsaltz described as his innate skepticism toward atheism, led him to Orthodox Judaism. Washington Post, "Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, who brought the Talmud within reach of millions, dies at 83," 12 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atheism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of atheism

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for atheism

Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god

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Time Traveler for atheism

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The first known use of atheism was in 1546

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Cite this Entry

“Atheism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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