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[uh-geyp, uh-gap] /əˈgeɪp, əˈgæp/
adverb, adjective
with the mouth wide open, as in wonder, surprise, or eagerness:
We stood there agape at the splendor.
wide open:
his mouth agape.
Origin of agape1
1660-70; a-1 + gape


[ah-gah-pey, ah-guh-pey, ag-uh-] /ɑˈgɑ peɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpeɪ, ˈæg ə-/
noun, plural agapae
[ah-gah-pahy, ah-guh-pahy, -pee] /ɑˈgɑ paɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpaɪ, -ˌpi/ (Show IPA),
[ah-gah-pahy, ah-guh-pahy] /ɑˈgɑ paɪ, ˈɑ gəˌpaɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 4.
the love of God or Christ for humankind.
the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
love feast (defs 1, 2).
1600-10; < Greek agápē ‘love’ Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for agape
Historical Examples
  • Toby's face was agape with smiles when he came back, and they both laughed for a full minute behind a laurel-bush.

    Mammon and Co. E. F. Benson
  • Every eye was on her, and in the wide circle around every mouth was agape.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • They stand confounded and agape before the universal competence of this wonder genius.

  • Around this tomb we shall hold the 'agape' upon the anniversary of his birthday.

  • With this object I have translated a characteristic passage from the tale of agape.

  • The poor man stared at me in silence, agape with perplexity.

    Overdue Harry Collingwood
  • Eli stood by agape, without a sign of sympathy for her, or an emotion of any kind, any more than if he had been a fence post.

    Edith and John Franklin S. Farquhar
  • Then he went his way, leaving Wellington red, agape and perplexed.

    Excuse Me! Rupert Hughes
  • Some of the vessels we have described were doubtless employed also in the celebration of the agape.

    The Catacombs of Rome William Henry Withrow
  • He looked at me all agape, as if he had been half strangled.

    Tom Cringle's Log Michael Scott
British Dictionary definitions for agape


adjective (postpositive)
(esp of the mouth) wide open
very surprised, expectant, or eager, esp as indicated by a wide open mouth
Word Origin
C17: a-² + gape


noun (Christianity)
Christian love, esp as contrasted with erotic love; charity
a communal meal in the early Church taken in commemoration of the Last Supper; love feast
Word Origin
C17: Greek agapē love
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
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Word Origin and History for agape

c.1600, from Greek agape "brotherly love, charity," from agapan "greet with affection, love," of unknown origin. Agape was used by early Christians for their "love feast" held in connection with the Lord's Supper. In modern use, often in simpler sense of "Christian love" (1856, frequently opposed to eros as "carnal or sensual love").


1660s, from a- (1) + gape (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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