[ ey-thee-ist ]
/ ˈeɪ θi ɪst /


a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Origin of atheist

1565–75; < Greek áthe(os) godless + -ist
Related formsan·ti·a·the·ist, noun, adjectivepro·a·the·ist, noun, adjective

Synonym study Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for atheist

British Dictionary definitions for atheist


/ (ˈeɪθɪˌɪst) /


a person who does not believe in God or gods


of or relating to atheists or atheism
Derived Formsatheistic or atheistical, adjectiveatheistically, adverb
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 atheist



1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea).

The existence of a world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell. [Armand Salacrou, "Certitudes et incertitudes," 1943]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper