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[noh-sis] /ˈnoʊ sɪs/
knowledge of spiritual matters; mystical knowledge.
Origin of gnosis
1695-1705; < New Latin < Greek gnṓsis a seeking to know, equivalent to gnō-, base of gignṓskein know1 + -sis -sis


a combining form meaning “knowledge,” used in the formation of compound words:
< Latin -gnōsis < Greek; see gnosis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gnosis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are interdependent, and rule the ancient order of gnosis and praxis.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • Let us bless heaven that the patriarch of the gnosis has selected the former.

    Devil-Worship in France Arthur Edward Waite
  • We alone are initiated into the mysteries of the gnosis and of the divine Plenum.

    The Death of the Gods Dmitri Mrejkowski
  • From the acceptance of that story there proceeds a new knowledge, a gnosis.

    The Origin of Paul's Religion J. Gresham Machen
  • But that which is necessary in order that it may be received is not "gnosis" or an initiation.

    The Origin of Paul's Religion J. Gresham Machen
British Dictionary definitions for gnosis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
supposedly revealed knowledge of various spiritual truths, esp that said to have been possessed by ancient Gnostics
Word Origin
C18: ultimately from Greek: knowledge, from gignōskein to know


combining form
(esp in medicine) recognition or knowledge: prognosis, diagnosis
Derived Forms
-gnostic, combining_form:in_adjective
Word Origin
via Latin from Greek: gnosis
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 gnosis

"special knowledge of spiritual mysteries," 1703, from Greek gnosis "investigation, knowledge," in Christian writers, "higher knowledge of spiritual things" (see gnostic (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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