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[uh-geyp, uh-gap] /əˈgeɪp, əˈgæp/
adverb, adjective
with the mouth wide open, as in wonder, surprise, or eagerness:
We stood there agape at the splendor.
wide open:
his mouth agape.
Origin of agape1
First recorded in 1660-70; a-1 + gape


[ah-gah-pey, ah-guh-pey, ag-uh-] /ɑˈgɑ peɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpeɪ, ˈæg ə-/
noun, plural agapae
[ah-gah-pahy, ah-guh-pahy, -pee] /ɑˈgɑ paɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpaɪ, -ˌpi/ (Show IPA),
[ah-gah-pahy, ah-guh-pahy] /ɑˈgɑ paɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpaɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 4.
the love of God or Christ for humankind.
the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
love feast (defs 1, 2).
First recorded in 1600-10, agape is from the Greek word agápē ‘love’ Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for agape
Historical Examples
  • Every eye was on her, and in the wide circle around every mouth was agape.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • Around this tomb we shall hold the 'agape' upon the anniversary of his birthday.

  • The poor man stared at me in silence, agape with perplexity.

    Overdue Harry Collingwood
  • She led the way as she spoke, and the country people followed her, all agape.

    The Beth Book

    Sarah Grand
  • Then he went his way, leaving Wellington red, agape and perplexed.

    Excuse Me! Rupert Hughes
  • He looked at me all agape, as if he had been half strangled.

    Tom Cringle's Log Michael Scott
  • If Mr Western could have seen him and his earnestness, he would have been agape with amazement.

    A Gallant Grenadier F.S. Brereton
  • She looked at her father through her tears, at her father, whose face was agape!

    In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White
  • His mouth was agape with distress, his loud-checked bowtie askew.

  • At last Farfrae's man, who had been agape on the doorstep, came up; then the cook.

British Dictionary definitions for agape


adjective (postpositive)
(esp of the mouth) wide open
very surprised, expectant, or eager, esp as indicated by a wide open mouth
Word Origin
C17: a-² + gape


noun (Christianity)
Christian love, esp as contrasted with erotic love; charity
a communal meal in the early Church taken in commemoration of the Last Supper; love feast
Word Origin
C17: Greek agapē love
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for agape

c.1600, from Greek agape "brotherly love, charity," from agapan "greet with affection, love," of unknown origin. Agape was used by early Christians for their "love feast" held in connection with the Lord's Supper. In modern use, often in simpler sense of "Christian love" (1856, frequently opposed to eros as "carnal or sensual love").


1660s, from a- (1) + gape (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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