• synonyms


[ey-thee-iz-uh m]
See more synonyms for atheism on Thesaurus.com
  1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
  2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
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Origin of atheism

1580–90; < Greek áthe(os) godless + -ism
Related formsan·ti·a·the·ism, adjective, nounpro·a·the·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

nihilism, infidelity, disbelief, unbelief, impiety, doubt, heresy, skepticism, irreverence, paganism, freethinking, iconoclasm, irreligion

Examples from the Web for atheism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Do you object to atheism, and yet regard obedience to God as an invention of the priests?

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • His father's name was Never be Good, and he had more children than this Atheism.


    James Anthony Froude

  • For at bottom, atheism is either a fad or a trade or a fatuity.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • From the peddling-box, therefore, I turned even as I did from atheism.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Or, do you mean that I am an atheist simply, and a teacher of atheism?



British Dictionary definitions for atheism


  1. rejection of belief in God or gods
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Word Origin

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

atheism in Culture



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

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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.