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[thee-os-uh-fee] /θiˈɒs ə fi/
any of various forms of philosophical or religious thought based on a mystical insight into the divine nature.
(often initial capital letters) the system of belief and practice of the Theosophical Society.
Origin of theosophy
1640-50; < Medieval Latin theosophia < Late Greek theosophía. See theo-, -sophy
Related forms
[thee-uh-sof-i-kuh l] /ˌθi əˈsɒf ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
theosophic, adjective
theosophically, adverb
theosophism, noun
theosophist, noun
nontheosophic, adjective
nontheosophical, adjective
nontheosophically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for theosophist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Only a theosophist could imagine that they would be young girls.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • The books in which much of it is written are as free to the non-theosophist as to the theosophist.

  • They must be recognised as fit objects for the study of the theosophist.

  • They regarded the theosophist as far superior in every respect to the theologian.

  • The ideal of the theosophist is the at one-ment of his own spirit with that of the Infinite.

  • But even a theosophist does not expect to be a vast number of people at once.

    Eugenics and Other Evils G. K. Chesterton
  • theosophist and Yogi can everything, all the same—can much more, but not show.

    The Quest Frederik van Eeden
  • In the case of a theosophist, the heart goes first, then comes the tongue.

    Letters from a Sf Teacher Shaikh Sharfuddn Maner
  • As usual in such cases, the theosophist believed he was the victim of a delusion.

    Legends August Strindberg
British Dictionary definitions for theosophist


any of various religious or philosophical systems claiming to be based on or to express an intuitive insight into the divine nature
the system of beliefs of the Theosophical Society founded in 1875, claiming to be derived from the sacred writings of Brahmanism and Buddhism, but denying the existence of any personal God
Derived Forms
theosophical (ˌθɪəˈsɒfɪkəl) adjective
theosophically, adverb
theosophism, noun
theosophist, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin theosophia, from Late Greek; see theo-, -sophy
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 theosophist



1640s (implied in theosophical), "knowledge about God and nature obtained through mystical study," from Medieval Latin theosophia (c.880), from Late Greek theosophia (c.500, Pseudo-Dionysus) "wisdom concerning God or things divine," from Greek theosophos "one wise about God," from theos "god" (see Thea) + sophos "wise, learned" (see sophist). Taken as the name of a modern philosophical system (sometimes called Esoteric Buddhism), founded in New York 1875 as "Theosophical Society" by Madame Blavatsky and others, which combines teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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