[thee-iz-uh m]


the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).
belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).

Origin of theism

First recorded in 1670–80; the- + -ism
Related formsthe·ist [thee-ist] /ˈθi ɪst/, noun, adjectivethe·is·tic, the·is·ti·cal, adjectivethe·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·the·is·tic, adjectivenon·the·is·ti·cal, adjectivenon·the·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·the·is·tic, adjectiveun·the·is·ti·cal, adjectiveun·the·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedatheist deist theist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for theist

Contemporary Examples of theist

Historical Examples of theist

  • The theist realizes, however, that belief is at one pole, reason at the other.

  • Thus the theist is led to the conclusion that the end justifies the means.

  • The world is not the same to the Christian theist and to the agnostic.

  • And on that point we certainly can speak with authority; for we have been where the Theist is, he has not been where we are.

    Theism or Atheism

    Chapman Cohen

  • The theist, in short, commences with a wrong conception of causation.

    Theism or Atheism

    Chapman Cohen

British Dictionary definitions for theist



a person who believes in the doctrine of theism
a person who believes in the existence of God or gods


of or relating to theists or theism
Derived Formstheistic or theistical, adjectivetheistically, adverb



the form of the belief in one God as the transcendent creator and ruler of the universe that does not necessarily entail further belief in divine revelationCompare deism
the belief in the existence of a God or godsCompare atheism

Word Origin for theism

C17: from Greek theos god + -ism
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 theist

1660s, from Greek theos "god" (see Thea) + -ist. The original senses was that later reserved to deist: "one who believes in a transcendant god but denies revelation." Later in 18c. theist was contrasted with deist, as allowing the possibility of revelation.



"belief in a deity," 1670s; see theist. Meaning "belief in one god" (as opposed to polytheism) is recorded from 1711.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper