Skeptic Skep"tic, n. [Gr. skeptiko`s thoughtful, reflective, fr. ske`ptesqai to look carefully or about, to view, consider: cf. L. scepticus, F. sceptique. See {Scope}.] [Written also {sceptic}.] 1. One who is yet undecided as to what is true; one who is looking or inquiring for what is true; an inquirer after facts or reasons. [1913 Webster]

2. (Metaph.) A doubter as to whether any fact or truth can be certainly known; a universal doubter; a Pyrrhonist; hence, in modern usage, occasionally, a person who questions whether any truth or fact can be established on philosophical grounds; sometimes, a critical inquirer, in opposition to a dogmatist. [1913 Webster]

All this criticism [of Hume] proceeds upon the erroneous hypothesis that he was a dogmatist. He was a skeptic; that is, he accepted the principles asserted by the prevailing dogmatism: and only showed that such and such conclusions were, on these principles, inevitable. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

3. (Theol.) A person who doubts the existence and perfections of God, or the truth of revelation; one who disbelieves the divine origin of the Christian religion. [1913 Webster]

Suffer not your faith to be shaken by the sophistries of skeptics. --S. Clarke. [1913 Webster]

Note: This word and its derivatives are often written with c instead of k in the first syllable, -- sceptic, sceptical, scepticism, etc. Dr. Johnson, struck with the extraordinary irregularity of giving c its hard sound before e, altered the spelling, and his example has been followed by most of the lexicographers who have succeeded him; yet the prevalent practice among English writers and printers is in favor of the other mode. In the United States this practice is reversed, a large and increasing majority of educated persons preferring the orthography which is most in accordance with etymology and analogy. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Infidel; unbeliever; doubter. -- See {Infidel}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • skeptic — also sceptic, 1580s, member of an ancient Greek school that doubted the possibility of real knowledge, from Fr. sceptique, from L. scepticus, from Gk. skeptikos (pl. Skeptikoi the Skeptics ), lit. inquiring, reflective, the name taken by the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Skeptic — Skep tic, Skeptical Skep tic*al, a. [Written also sceptic, sceptical.] 1. Of or pertaining to a sceptic or skepticism; characterized by skepticism; hesitating to admit the certainly of doctrines or principles; doubting of everything. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • skeptic — index heretic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • skeptic — skeptic, skeptical see sceptic, sceptical …   Modern English usage

  • skeptic — [n] person who is leery, unbelieving agnostic, apostate, atheist, cynic, disbeliever, dissenter, doubter, doubting Thomas*, freethinker, heathen, heretic, infidel, materialist, misanthrope, misbeliever, nihilist, pagan, pessimist, profaner,… …   New thesaurus

  • skeptic — (Brit. sceptic) ► NOUN 1) a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions. 2) a person who doubts the truth of Christianity and other religions; an atheist. DERIVATIVES skepticism noun. ORIGIN Greek skeptikos, from skepsis inquiry, doubt …   English terms dictionary

  • skeptic — [skep′tik] adj. [L scepticus < Gr skeptikos, thoughtful, inquiring < skeptesthai, to consider: altered by metathesis < IE base * spek̑ , to peer > SPY] var. of SKEPTICAL: used esp. in philosophy n. 1. [S ] a member of any of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Skeptic — El texto que sigue es una traducción defectuosa o incompleta. Si quieres colaborar con Wikipedia, busca el artículo original y mejora o finaliza esta traducción. Puedes dar aviso al autor principal del artículo pegando el siguiente código en su… …   Wikipedia Español

  • skeptic — US var. of SCEPTIC. * * * skeptic, skeptical etc.: see sceptic, etc …   Useful english dictionary

  • skeptic — noun Etymology: Latin or Greek; Latin scepticus, from Greek skeptikos, from skeptikos thoughtful, from skeptesthai to look, consider more at spy Date: 1587 1. an adherent or advocate of skepticism 2. a person disposed to skepticism especially… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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