• synonyms


[ah-gah-pey, ah-guh-pey, ag-uh-]
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noun, plural a·ga·pae [ah-gah-pahy, ah-guh-pahy, -pee] /ɑˈgɑ paɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpaɪ, -ˌpi/, a·ga·pai [ah-gah-pahy, ah-guh-pahy] /ɑˈgɑ paɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpaɪ/ for 4.
  1. the love of God or Christ for humankind.
  2. the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
  3. unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
  4. love feast(defs 1, 2).
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Origin of agape2

First recorded in 1600–10, agape is from the Greek word agápē ‘love’
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for agapae

Historical Examples

  • Dancing, however, fell into discredit with the feast of the Agapae.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 9


  • The Agapae were abolished, and auricular confession was established, during this century.

  • The Agapae, with their excesses eliminated, survive in the love-feasts of modern Christians.

    The Christ

    John Eleazer Remsburg

  • This contained the Saal, or meeting room, as well as the rooms necessary for holding the agapae, or love feasts.

British Dictionary definitions for agapae


adjective (postpositive)
  1. (esp of the mouth) wide open
  2. very surprised, expectant, or eager, esp as indicated by a wide open mouth
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Word Origin

C17: a- ² + gape


noun Christianity
  1. Christian love, esp as contrasted with erotic love; charity
  2. a communal meal in the early Church taken in commemoration of the Last Supper; love feast
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Word Origin

C17: Greek agapē love
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

Word Origin and History for agapae



1660s, from a- (1) + gape (v.).

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c.1600, from Greek agape "brotherly love, charity," from agapan "greet with affection, love," of unknown origin. Agape was used by early Christians for their "love feast" held in connection with the Lord's Supper. In modern use, often in simpler sense of "Christian love" (1856, frequently opposed to eros as "carnal or sensual love").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper