• synonyms


[fil-uh-sof, fil-uh-zof; French fee-law-zawf]
noun, plural phil·o·sophes [fil-uh-sofs, fil-uh-zofs; French fee-law-zawf] /ˈfɪl əˌsɒfs, ˌfɪl əˈzɒfs; French fi lɔˈzɔf/.
  1. any of the popular French intellectuals or social philosophers of the 18th century, as Diderot, Rousseau, or Voltaire.
  2. a philosophaster.
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Origin of philosophe

Borrowed into English from French around 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for philosophe

Historical Examples

  • During our stay of about a week at Philosophe the village was quiet.

    Q.6.a and Other places

    Francis Buckley

  • However, the philosophe was once more out of favour with Louis XV.

    Odd Bits of History

    Henry W. Wolff

  • But neither of them can in the least be called a philosophe.

  • She politely asks him whether he is not a philosophe, and whether philosophy is not a very beautiful thing?

  • "I desire to know nothing of those who knew nothing," was the saying, in reference to them, of the French philosophe.

Word Origin and History for philosophe


"Enlightenment rationalist and skeptic," especially in reference to any of the French Encyclopædists, often disparaging (when used by believers), 1774, from French philosophe, literally "philosopher" (see philosopher). Usually italicized in English, but nativized by Peter Gay ("The Enlightenment," 1966) and others. Also philosophist (1798).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper