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2017 Word of the Year

scepticism

[skep-tuh-siz-uh m] /ˈskɛp təˌsɪz əm/
noun
Related forms
antiscepticism, noun
overscepticism, noun

skepticism

or scepticism

[skep-tuh-siz-uh m] /ˈskɛp təˌsɪz əm/
noun
1.
skeptical attitude or temper; doubt.
2.
doubt or unbelief with regard to a religion, especially Christianity.
3.
(initial capital letter) the doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics; universal doubt.
Origin of skepticism
1640-1650
1640-50; < New Latin scepticismus, equivalent to Latin sceptic(us) skeptic + -ismus -ism
Related forms
antiskepticism, noun
Synonyms
1. questioning, probing, testing. 2. disbelief, atheism, agnosticism.
Antonyms
2. faith.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for scepticism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • scepticism was not only in his conscious thought but in the very tissues of his mind.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • There is no scepticism among the labourers now, I assure you.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • Let scepticism assert what it may, such is the nature of man.

  • He goes beyond facts in his scepticism, as they did in their idealism.

    Meno Plato
  • These are the sort of proofs that no scepticism is strong enough to resist.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • There was a tinge of scepticism in his voice, though he tried to hide it.

    Young Mr. Barter's Repentance David Christie Murray
  • Possibly this scepticism has never yet injured the cause of an innocent man.

    Angling Sketches Andrew Lang
  • Miss Smith's voice still carried a suggestion of scepticism.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • The three elder men were silent, but they seemed to receive what he said with scepticism.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
Word Origin and History for scepticism

skepticism

n.

also scepticism, 1640s, from skeptic + -ism. Specifically regarding Christian religion, from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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scepticism in Culture

skepticism definition


In philosophy, the position that what cannot be proved by reason should not be believed. One of the main tasks of epistemology is to find an answer to the charge of some extreme skeptics that no knowledge is possible.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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