a person who holds that the answers to the basic questions of existence, such as the nature of the ultimate cause and whether or not there is a supreme being, are unknown or unknowable.
a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.
of or relating to agnostics or their doctrines, attitudes, or beliefs.
asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge.
not taking a stand on something, especially not holding either of two usually strongly opposed positions (often used in combination): He's known to take an agnostic view of technological progress. The governor's fuel-agnostic energy policies were highly controversial.
(especially of digital technology) not limited or dedicated to a particular device, system, etc. (often used in combination): platform agnostic software.
In a more recent trend, one can be agnostic simply by not taking a stand on something. In 2010, President Obama called himself “agnostic” on tax cuts until he had seen all available options. At a forum on sustainable energy in 2008, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said he was “fuel agnostic.” In technology, software or hardware can be said to be agnostic as well. Computer code that can run on any operating system is called “platform agnostic,” and such services as phone and electric may be considered “agnostic” if not dedicated to a particular carrier, device, or user interface.
—Agnostic Front: A New York punk band, considered at the forefront of the New York hardcore music scene. Founded in 1983, in existence for over 25 years.
- ag·nos·ti·cal·ly, adverb
- agnostic , atheist (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use agnostic in a sentence
Early on, the company was “fairly agnostic,” Jain says, waiting to see whether machines or people could better fact-check the world.
Consumers are increasingly agnostic about whether they buy online or locally.A Corona Xmas: Why physical stores will power online shopping this holiday season | Greg Sterling | September 4, 2020 | Search Engine Land
Met’s general manager, Jeffrey Kightlinger, said the agency is “agnostic” about the project.The Water Authority Is Resurrecting Its Pipe Dream – Again | MacKenzie Elmer | September 1, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
The sequence is device agnostic when a user is logged in through their account, which means that shifting between devices doesn’t affect that strategy, it even enhances the experience.Five great display and video advertising tactics to increase relevance and revenue in a cookie-less world | Anastasia-Yvoni Spiliopoulou | August 24, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
We take an agnostic approach to ad tech and wherever there’s commercial growth — then that’s when we’ll look to expand.‘We’ll get briefs we couldn’t access before’: Inside Channel 4’s push for programmatic advertisers | Seb Joseph | August 11, 2020 | Digiday
She is agnostic and a firm supporter for gay rights and birth control.
In general, MBAs are agnostic about how cost cutting can be achieved.Burger King Invades Canada to Save His Faltering Kingdom | Daniel Gross | August 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
According to Pew, close to two-thirds of those who identify as atheist or agnostic are men.
For the record, I believe in God but am an agnostic about therapy.Anthony Weiner and Other Democrats in Sex Scandals Don’t Mention God | Dean Obeidallah | July 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Street savvy but compassionate, mystical but agnostic and above all, brilliantly idiosyncratic, Fly is a rambling poet of sorts.
He had by this time become what would now be called an agnostic.The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) | Leslie Stephen
For the agnostic, no more than the Atheist, can attach no intelligible meaning to "God."Theism or Atheism | Chapman Cohen
True, she said, checked for a moment, but one is not truly agnostic when ones mother has had faith.The Wasted Generation | Owen Johnson
This statement, coming from a leading agnostic, was welcome to the theologians.The Book of Life: Vol. I Mind and Body; Vol. II Love and Society | Upton Sinclair
A story of modern life and thought, being a study of two opposite types—the Christian and the agnostic.Battles of English History | H. B. (Hereford Brooke) George
British Dictionary definitions for agnostic
of or relating to agnostics
- agnosticism, noun
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