[ dee-iz-uhm ]

  1. belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism).

  2. belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.

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Origin of deism

1675–85; <French déisme<Latin de(us) god + French -isme-ism

Words Nearby deism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use deism in a sentence

  • The God, who serves as the foundation of natural religion, or deism, is himself the greatest of mysteries.

    Good Sense | Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach
  • But already in high society in Germany the wind no longer set in the direction of pure deism.

British Dictionary definitions for deism


/ (ˈdiːɪzəm, ˈdeɪ-) /

  1. belief in the existence of God based solely on natural reason, without reference to revelation: Compare theism

Origin of deism

C17: from French déisme, from Latin deus god

Derived forms of deism

  • deist, noun, adjective
  • deistic or deistical, adjective
  • deistically, 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

Cultural definitions for deism


[ (dee-iz-uhm) ]

The belief that God has created the universe but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws. Deism thus rejects the supernatural aspects of religion, such as belief in revelation in the Bible (see also Bible), and stresses the importance of ethical conduct. In the eighteenth century, numerous important thinkers held deist beliefs. (See clockwork universe.)

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.