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See more synonyms for gnostic on Thesaurus.com
adjective Also gnos·ti·cal.
  1. pertaining to knowledge.
  2. possessing knowledge, especially esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters.
  3. (initial capital letter) pertaining to or characteristic of the Gnostics.
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  1. (initial capital letter) a member of any of certain sects among the early Christians who claimed to have superior knowledge of spiritual matters, and explained the world as created by powers or agencies arising as emanations from the Godhead.
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Origin of gnostic

1555–65; < Late Latin Gnōsticī (plural) name of the sect < Greek gnōstikós (singular) pertaining to knowledge, equivalent to gnōst(ós) known + -ikos -ic
Related formsgnos·ti·cal·ly, adverban·ti·gnos·tic, adjective, nounan·ti·gnos·ti·cal, adjectiveun·gnos·tic, adjective


  1. a combination of -gnosis and -ic, used to form adjectives from stems ending in -gnosis: prognostic.
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Origin of -gnostic

< Medieval Latin -gnōsticus < Greek gnōstikós pertaining to knowledge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gnostic

knowing, penetrating, wise, intuitive, incisive, observant, knowledgeable, discerning, discreet, astute, insightful, piercing, perceptive, acute, awake, aware, brainy, conscious, judicious, keen

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British Dictionary definitions for gnostic



  1. of, relating to, or possessing knowledge, esp esoteric spiritual knowledge
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Derived Formsgnostically, adverb


  1. an adherent of Gnosticism
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  1. of or relating to Gnostics or to Gnosticism
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Word Origin for Gnostic

C16: from Late Latin Gnosticī the Gnostics, from Greek gnōstikos relating to knowledge, from gnōstos known, from gignōskein to know
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 gnostic



1580s, "believer in a mystical religious doctrine of spiritual knowledge," from Late Latin Gnosticus, from Late Greek Gnostikos, noun use of adj. gnostikos "knowing, able to discern," from gnostos "knowable," from gignoskein "to learn, to come to know" (see know). Applied to various early Christian sects that claimed direct personal knowledge beyond the Gospel or the Church hierarchy.

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"relating to knowledge," 1650s, from Greek gnostikos "knowing, able to discern," from gnostos "known, perceived, understood," from gignoskein "to learn, to come to know" (see know).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper