[ ey-thee-iz-uh m ]
/ ˈeɪ θiˌɪz əm /


the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Nearby words

  1. athanor,
  2. athapascan,
  3. athapaskan,
  4. athar,
  5. atharva-veda,
  6. atheist,
  7. atheistic,
  8. athel,
  9. athel tree,
  10. athelia

Origin of atheism

1580–90; < Greek áthe(os) godless + -ism

Related formsan·ti·a·the·ism, adjective, nounpro·a·the·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for atheism

British Dictionary definitions for atheism


/ (ˈeɪθɪˌɪzəm) /


rejection of belief in God or gods

Word Origin for atheism

C16: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos godless, from a- 1 + theos god

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 atheism



1580s, from French athéisme (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god" (see atheist). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo "atheist." Ancient Greek atheotes meant "ungodliness."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for atheism


[ (ay-thee-iz-uhm) ]

Denial that there is a God. (Compare agnosticism.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.