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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French sceptique (but with a pronunciation closer to that of the Greek etymon), or possibly directly from Late Latin scepticus (originally attested only in the plural Scepticī (the sect of Skeptics)), from Ancient Greek σκεπτικός (skeptikós, thoughtful, inquiring), from σκέπτομαι (sképtomai, I consider), compare to σκοπέω (skopéō, I view, examine).


  • IPA(key): /ˈskɛp.tɪk/
  • (file)


skeptic (plural skeptics) (American spelling)

  1. Someone who doubts beliefs, claims, plans, etc that are accepted by others as true or appropriate, especially one who habitually does so.
    • 2004, Anthony Lappé, Stephen Marshall, Ian Inaba, True Lies, Plume Books
      The official account of this meeting was that it ended in failure, with the Taliban's mullah Omar telling General Ahmed, “Osama will be the last person to leave Afghanistan.” The 9/11 skeptics believe that meeting was meant to fail.
    • 2011 June 23, United States House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, Insourcing Gone Awry: Outsourcing Small Business Jobs, page 53:
      Even skeptics of the policy acknowledge that the Army conducted an exemplary insourcing program that successfully counteracted the Comptroller's budget ...
    • 2012, John Powers, A Bull of a Man, Harvard University Press (→ISBN), page 22:
      The Buddha's perfect body is particularly important in these tropes, and it serves to persuade skeptics of his claims to ultimate authority.
    • 2013, Dr Helga Turku, Isolationist States in an Interdependent World, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. (→ISBN), page 113:
      Skeptics of this alliance were proven right because this partnership lasted only for a few years. Once Albania broke off diplomatic relations []
  2. (in particular) Someone who is skeptical towards religion.

Related terms[edit]