the·​ism ˈthē-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce theism (audio)
: belief in the existence of a god or gods
specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world
theistic adjective
or less commonly theistical
theistically adverb

Examples of theism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While most of the Empire was being immersed in a religion which was a synthesis of Roman institutions, Greek philosophy and Hebrew theism, a subset of the population of philosophical inclination was being drawn into a religious system descended from Hellenistic paganism. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 10 Aug. 2012 Another frequent topic of disbelief among Edge responders was theism and its anti-science offshoots---in particular the belief in intelligent design, and the belief that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. Jennifer Welsh, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2010 The Chinese Communists aren’t trying to extirpate every last trace of theism, thereby inviting the undivided opposition of religious believers and institutions (as the Soviets did with regard to John Paul II’s Vatican). Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 21 Feb. 2021 Thoreau moves fluidly between the two, shuttling between the divine and the here-and-now, between theism and materialism. Longreads, 13 July 2017 Some theologians seemed to reject traditional notions of theism, even arguing that Jesus should be seen more as a human role model than an actual deity. Joseph Berger, New York Times, 29 June 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1678, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of theism was in 1678

Dictionary Entries Near theism

Cite this Entry

“Theism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


the·​ism ˈthē-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce theism (audio)
: belief in the existence of God as creator and ruler of the universe
theist noun
theistic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on theism

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