First attested in 1870; coined by Thomas Huxley. Either from Ancient Greek ἄγνωστος (ágnōstos, “ignorant, not knowing”) or from a- + Gnostic. Deriving (either way) from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-, “not”) + γιγνώσκω (gignṓskō, “I know”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /æɡˈnɒstɪk/
- (US) IPA(key): /æɡˈnɑːstɪk/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɒstɪk
agnostic (plural agnostics)
- Of or relating to agnosticism or its adherents.
1889, Huxley, Thomas Henry, Agnosticism:
- In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him.
- His agnostic viewpoint is summarized in his book.
- Doubtful or uncertain about the existence or demonstrability of God or other deity.
- She left the church when she became agnostic.
- (computing) A software component (or other entity) that is unaware or noncommittal regarding the specific nature of the components with which it interacts; polymorphic; modular; pluggable
- The socket communications layer is agnostic with regard to its underlying transport mechanism -- it is “transport-agnostic”.
- (usually with a prepositional phrase) Having no firmly held opinions on an issue or matter of uncertainty.
- I'm agnostic on whether ethanol is a green fuel
- He says he's agnostic concerning the Secretary's claims.
- sceptic (Mainly UK & Commonwealth), skeptic (Mainly US)
- Appendix:Glossary of philosophical isms