[ noh-sis ]
/ ˈnoʊ sɪs /
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knowledge of spiritual matters; mystical knowledge.
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Origin of gnosis

1695–1705; <New Latin <Greek gnṓsis a seeking to know, equivalent to gnō-, base of gignṓskeinknow1 + -sis-sis

Other definitions for gnosis (2 of 2)


a combining form meaning “knowledge,” used in the formation of compound words: prognosis.

Origin of -gnosis

<Latin -gnōsis<Greek; see gnosis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -gnosis mean?

The combining form -gnosis is used like a suffix meaning “knowledge.” It is occasionally used in scientific and technical terms, especially in medicine.

The form -gnosis comes from Greek gnṓsis, meaning “a seeking to know.”

What are variants of -gnosis?

While -gnosis doesn’t have any variants, it is related to the form -gnostic, which denotes adjectives related to -gnosis, as in diagnostic. Another relative of -gnosis is the form -gnomy, as in physiognomy. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use -gnosis article.

Examples of -gnosis

One example of a word you may be familiar with that uses the form -gnosis is prognosis, “a forecasting of the probable course and outcome of a disease, especially of the chances of recovery.” The word prognosis comes from Greek prógnōsis, which uses the equivalent of -gnosis in that language.

The prefix pro- has a variety of meanings, including “before” or “prior,” from Greek pró. The form -gnosis means “knowledge,” as we have already seen. Prognosis literally translates to “prior knowledge.”

What are some words that use the combining form -gnosis?

What are some other forms that -gnosis may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form psycho- means “psychological.” With this in mind, what does psychognosis literally mean?

How to use gnosis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gnosis (1 of 2)

/ (ˈnəʊsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-siːz)
supposedly revealed knowledge of various spiritual truths, esp that said to have been possessed by ancient Gnostics

Word Origin for gnosis

C18: ultimately from Greek: knowledge, from gignōskein to know

British Dictionary definitions for gnosis (2 of 2)


n combining form
(esp in medicine) recognition or knowledgeprognosis; diagnosis

Derived forms of -gnosis

-gnostic, adj combining form

Word Origin for -gnosis

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