gnos·​ti·​cism ˈnä-stə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce gnosticism (audio)
often capitalized
: the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis

Examples of gnosticism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the names suggest Alevis and Alawites likely share a common genealogical origin out of a synthesis of late antique paganism, gnosticism, Christianity, and Shia Islam. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 10 Apr. 2012 In this sense, the woke dialect is a new kind of gnosticism, separating the elite from the great unwashed. Nate Hochman, National Review, 12 Feb. 2022 In effect, as Del Noce argued throughout his career, Marxism was and is a new form of an old heresy, gnosticism. Francis X. Maier, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gnosticism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see gnostic

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gnosticism was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near gnosticism

Cite this Entry

“Gnosticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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