See also: Atheist and atheïst

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle French athéiste (athée + -iste), from Latin atheos, from Ancient Greek ἄθεος (átheos, godless, without god), from ἀ- (a-, without) + θεός (theós, god).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈeɪθiɪst/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: a‧the‧ist

Noun edit

atheist (plural atheists)

  1. (religion) A person who does not believe in deities or gods.
    • 1910, The Vermont Digest 1789-1905[1], volume 2, Burlington: Free Press Printing Co:
      Atheists. One who does not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, an atheist, is incompetent as a witness, being incapable of being sworn. [] Changed by Acts of 1851, No. 12 (P. S. 1593), under which, no question can be raised as to a witness's "opinions on matters of religious belief."
    1. (strictly) A person who is certain that no deities exist or who thinks that the existence of deities can be disproven.
      Synonyms: positive atheist, strong atheist
      • 1571 October 20, Arthur Golding, “The Epistle Dedicatory”, in Psalmes of Dauid and others, with M. John Caluin's Commentaries[2]:
        Ageine, the Atheistes, which say in their hartes there is no God; []
      • 1953 November 3, Bertrand Russell, “What is an Agnostic?”, in Look[3]:
        An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not.
    2. (broadly) A person who doubts the existence of deities (therefore, an agnostic may be considered an atheist).
      Synonym: weak atheist
      • 1843, G. J. Holyoake, “A Reciprocal Dialogue”, in Thomas Paterson, editors, The Oracle of Reason, Or, Philosophy Vindicated[4], volume 2, number 64, page 89:
        Minister—Are you really an Atheist?
        M.—Do you deny that there is a god?
        A.—No. I deny that there is sufficient reason to believe there is one. There may be a god, but I think it rather unlikely.
      • 2006 September 18, Richard Dawkins, “The God Hypothesis”, in The God Delusion[5], 1st Am. edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OL, LCC BL2775.3.D39 2006, page 51:
        Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’
    3. (very broadly) Any person lacking belief in deities (including children who are unaware of religion).
      • 1772, Good Sense without God: Or Freethoughts Opposed to Supernatural Ideas[6], London: W. Stewart, translation of Le Bon-Sens, ou, Idées Naturelles opposées aux Idées Surnaturelles by Paul Henry Thiry baron d'Holbach, published 2004, §30, page 21:
        All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God. Are they then criminal on account of their ignorance?
  2. (uncommon) A person who does not believe in a particular deity (but may believe in another deity).
    • 1840, Edward Gibbon, chapter 16, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, new edition, volume 1, page 183:
      Malice and prejudice concurred in representing the Christians as a society of atheists, who, by the most daring attack on the religious constitution of the empire, had merited the severest animadversion of the civil magistrate.
    • 2002 February, Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins on militant atheism[7], via TED:
      An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Baal or the golden calf. As has been said before, we are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
    • 2009, Lyndon Lamborn, Standing For Something More: The Excommunication of Lyndon Lamborn, AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 171:
      Throughout history, atheists were simply people who did not believe the prevalent God of the day. For the sun-worshippers, Christians were atheists. For Jewish people, Christians were atheists. Whoever does not believe in your God is by definition, an atheist. [] With all the countless Gods concocted by man, I claim that my Christian friends and I have something in common. We are all atheists, I just believe in one less God than they.
  3. (sometimes proscribed) A person who does not believe in any religion (not even a religion without gods); a nonreligious person. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
    • 2002 January 1, Anne-Marie De Mejía, Power, Prestige, and Bilingualism: International Perspectives on Elite Bilingual Education, Multilingual Matters, →ISBN, page 63:
      For instance, in Morocco, while a Muslim man is free to marry a non-Muslim woman, provided she is Christian or Jewish, but not Buddhist, Hindu or Atheist, a Muslim woman is only supposed to marry a Muslim man.
    • 2006 December 24, “‘Atheist’ hip-hop track causes a religious stir”, in Taipei Times[8], →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2007-01-25, Taiwan News, page 2:
      Since radio and TV started playing Atheists Like Me, the lead song in the album, Huang's record company has received more than 100 phone calls protesting the content of the new song, the local China Times newspaper reported. []
      It's not clear who has been offended by the tune, but most Taiwanese are Buddhists or Daoists. A small number are Christians, Muslims and atheists.
    • 2014 December 4, Lori G. Beaman, Steven Tomlins, Atheist Identities - Spaces and Social Contexts, Springer, →ISBN, page 8:
      In her chapter, “Freedom of and Freedom from Religion: Atheist Involvement in Legal Cases,” Lori G. Beaman presents her reflections on the various claims made by atheists in the legal arena, such as the objection to prayers in municipal []
    • 2015 March 10, David Seidman, What If I'm an Atheist?: A Teen's Guide to Exploring a Life Without Religion, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 149:
      20 “We just need to get rid of religion,” atheist author and entertainer Penn Jillette has said. Many atheists agree, as you can tell from the popularity of antireligion books such as Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great.

Quotations edit

For more quotations using this term, see Citations:atheist.

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

Hypernyms edit

Hyponyms edit

Coordinate terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also edit

Adjective edit

atheist (comparative more atheist, superlative most atheist)

  1. Of or relating to atheists or atheism; atheistic.
    • c. 16th-17th century, “Francis Bacon”, in Of Unity in Religion:
      He would have been seven times more Epicure and atheist than he was.
    • 2007 December 1, R. D. Richardson, Violence in the Urban Schools!: What Would You Do?, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 81:
      God! That majestic name is in the pledge. In doing this the government has already made clear that our country believes in God! We are the majority! Our nation is not Buddhist, not Hinduist, not Atheist, and the list goes on!

Translations edit

Verb edit

atheist (third-person singular simple present atheists, present participle atheisting, simple past and past participle atheisted)

  1. (transitive, very rare) To make someone an atheist.
    • 1646, Samuel Bolton: The arraignment of errour:
      The multitude of opinions doth draw him away, or else Atheist him, that he will be nothing. [] The multitude of opinions [] doth un-atheist him, put him upon the search and examination what is the truth of God.

Translations edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

  • atheist”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.

Anagrams edit

Romanian edit

Adjective edit

atheist m or n (feminine singular atheistă, masculine plural atheiști, feminine and neuter plural atheiste)

  1. Alternative form of ateist

Declension edit

References edit

  • atheist in Academia Română, Micul dicționar academic, ediția a II-a, Bucharest: Univers Enciclopedic, 2010. →ISBN