[ nos-tuh-siz-uh m ]
/ ˈnɒs təˌsɪz əm /

noun Christianity.

a group of ancient heresies, stressing escape from this world through the acquisition of esoteric knowledge.

Origin of Gnosticism

First recorded in 1660–70; Gnostic + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gnosticism

British Dictionary definitions for gnosticism


/ (ˈnɒstɪˌsɪzəm) /


a religious movement characterized by a belief in gnosis, through which the spiritual element in man could be released from its bondage in matter: regarded as a heresy by the Christian Church
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 gnosticism



1660s, from Gnostic + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper