- 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
Examples from the Web for skeptic
Given this tiny pool of survivors, a skeptic might ask why the story of the Mandans should matter to the contemporary reader?The Tribe at the Center of America: The Story of the Mandan|Andrew Graybill|March 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
If you're a skeptic like me, this entire process sounds like one massive shake of the head from start to finish.
In truth, I was a skeptic from day one, let the record show.Republicans Move to the Center? Nope, They’re Crazier Than Ever|Michael Tomasky|August 21, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Abrams is a skeptic, which he is well within his rights to be (a position this writer shares).Does Elliott Abrams Speak For American Jewish Leaders?|Ali Gharib|August 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
I was a skeptic, but lo and behold, the Judiciary Committee actually acted like the old Senate for a week.
The skeptic said that there was no mystery about it, as it merely "happened so."Health, Healing, and Faith|Russell H. Conwell
"That must be why it feels so Greece-y to the touch," murmured the Skeptic; but, luckily, nobody heard him but myself.
He was a railler, a skeptic and a critic of religion and morality, but knew how to play the game to suit his interests.Montreal 1535-1914 under the French Rgime|William Henry Atherton
Hepatica scrutinized the Skeptic's linen critically before she put it in.
"I wonder if we couldn't bring in a stepladder for her," murmured the Skeptic in my ear.
British Dictionary definitions for skeptic
Word Origin and History for skeptic
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.