[ nos-tik ]
See synonyms for gnostic on
adjectiveAlso gnos·ti·cal.
  1. pertaining to knowledge.

  2. possessing knowledge, especially esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters.

  1. (initial capital letter) pertaining to or characteristic of the Gnostics.

  1. (initial capital letter) a member of any of certain sects among the early Christians who claimed to have superior knowledge of spiritual matters, and explained the world as created by powers or agencies arising as emanations from the Godhead.

Origin of gnostic

1555–65; <Late Latin Gnōsticī (plural) name of the sect <Greek gnōstikós (singular) pertaining to knowledge, equivalent to gnōst(ós) known + -ikos-ic

Other words from gnostic

  • gnos·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·gnos·tic, adjective, noun
  • an·ti·gnos·ti·cal, adjective
  • un·gnos·tic, adjective

Other definitions for -gnostic (2 of 2)


  1. a combination of -gnosis and -ic, used to form adjectives from stems ending in -gnosis: prognostic.

Origin of -gnostic

<Medieval Latin -gnōsticus<Greek gnōstikós pertaining to knowledge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use gnostic in a sentence

  • This idea was undoubtedly suggested to him by the threefold division of mankind according to the gnostic p. 265system.

    The Religious Life of London | J. Ewing Ritchie

British Dictionary definitions for gnostic (1 of 2)



/ (ˈnɒstɪk) /

  1. of, relating to, or possessing knowledge, esp esoteric spiritual knowledge

Derived forms of gnostic

  • gnostically, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for Gnostic (2 of 2)


/ (ˈnɒstɪk) /

  1. an adherent of Gnosticism

  1. of or relating to Gnostics or to Gnosticism

Origin of Gnostic

C16: from Late Latin Gnosticī the Gnostics, from Greek gnōstikos relating to knowledge, from gnōstos known, from gignōskein to know

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