- a member of a philosophical school of ancient Greece, the earliest group of which consisted of Pyrrho and his followers, who maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible.
- any later thinker who doubts or questions the possibility of real knowledge of any kind.
Origin of skeptic
Synonyms for skeptic
Antonyms for skeptic
Related Words for scepticunbeliever, questioner, dissenter, heretic, radical, dissident, nonbeliever, critic, rebel, revolutionist, cynic, sceptic, ruiner, non-conformist
Examples from the Web for sceptic
Historical Examples of sceptic
This begets a very natural question; What is meant by a sceptic?
I was not then a sceptic; I had got as far as disbelief in infant baptism, but no further.Samuel Butler: A Sketch
Henry Festing Jones
Socrates is nowhere represented to us as a freethinker or sceptic.Apology
He was a sceptic about everything, even about his own position.Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens
G. K. Chesterton
Napoleon, himself a sceptic, was cognizant of this slave philosophy.The Necessity of Atheism
Dr. D.M. Brooks
archaic, US skeptic
Word Origin for sceptic
archaic, US Skeptic
chiefly British English spelling of skeptic (q.v.). Related: Sceptical; sceptically; scepticism.
also sceptic, 1580s, "member of an ancient Greek school that doubted the possibility of real knowledge," from Middle French sceptique and directly from Latin scepticus "the sect of the Skeptics," from Greek skeptikos (plural Skeptikoi "the Skeptics, followers of Pyrrho"), noun use of adjective meaning "inquiring, reflective" (the name taken by the disciples of the Greek philosopher Pyrrho, who lived c.360-c.270 B.C.E.), related to skeptesthai "to reflect, look, view" (see scope (n.1)).
Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. [Miguel de Unamuno, "Essays and Soliloquies," 1924]
The extended sense of "one with a doubting attitude" first recorded 1610s. The sk- spelling is an early 17c. Greek revival and is preferred in U.S. As a verb, scepticize (1690s) failed to catch on.