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[ey-thee-iz-uh m] /ˈeɪ θiˌɪz əm/
the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
Origin of atheism
1580-90; < Greek áthe(os) godless + -ism
Related forms
antiatheism, adjective, noun
proatheism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for atheism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An attempt to exclude him on charges of atheism and blasphemy failed.

    The Isle Of Pines (1668) Henry Neville
  • For at bottom, atheism is either a fad or a trade or a fatuity.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • Mr. Saunders, so far as his atheism was concerned, was suggested by Professor Clifford.

  • From the peddling-box, therefore, I turned even as I did from atheism.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • atheism and downright infidelity, as a general rule, are never very popular.

    Practical Religion John Charles Ryle
British Dictionary definitions for atheism


rejection of belief in God or gods
Word Origin
C16: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos godless, from a-1 + theos god
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 atheism

1580s, from French athéisme (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god" (see atheist). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo "atheist." Ancient Greek atheotes meant "ungodliness."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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atheism in Culture
atheism [(ay-thee-iz-uhm)]

Denial that there is a God. (Compare agnosticism.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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