Main definitions of agape in English

: agape1agape2

agape1

adjective

  • [predicative] (of a person's mouth) wide open in surprise or wonder:

    ‘Downes listened, mouth agape with incredulity’
    • ‘Three years ago when this Japanese company made its first Montreal appearance, they bowled everyone over and left them with mouths agape, wanting more.’
    • ‘In a sudden burst she sat down and gazed at the teacher whose mouth was now agape with shock.’
    • ‘The cast members in the wings looked on with mouths agape, but the two on the stage didn't notice, caught up in the sadness and regret an impossible love could provoke.’
    • ‘Some just stood there, their mouths agape, stunned by what the old woman had just said.’
    • ‘It may be brilliant political jujitsu - conceding the opposition's most damning point leaves them with mouths agape and little to say - or it may be nuts.’
    • ‘Relena and Tamika stared at Lynn, mouths agape.’
    • ‘So you've got to get an enormous charge out of watching the audience with their mouths agape.’
    • ‘With my mouth agape I shook her hand, dumbfounded.’
    • ‘The startled crew around us, unaccustomed to hearing a sociopolitical argument in the disco at 1 A.M., looked on with mouths agape.’
    • ‘Her older sisters stand with their mouths agape.’
    • ‘We followed him into the house, trying not to look too much like tourists with our mouths agape.’
    • ‘Nero's mouth is slightly agape and odd, gurgling noises come from within.’
    • ‘When fishermen are throwing away unused bait, the pelicans will descend in noisy throngs and are very adept at catching fish morsels in mid air, mouths agape as they squawk for more!’
    • ‘At his slightly overwhelmed expression and agape jaw, she snorted bitterly.’
    • ‘And they both just stood here with their mouths agape and wondering what had made the bucket spin like that.’
    • ‘The onlookers are painted in muddy greens and browns, facial features exaggerated into primitive masks, mouths agape or obliterated altogether.’
    • ‘They stared at each other, mouths agape and speechless.’
    • ‘Even old Washington hands sometimes find themselves with their mouths agape at the brazenness of the latest corporate innovation in ripping off the public.’
    • ‘Then the herd picked up and moved on, leaving us bundled up against the cold, our mouths agape, wondering if what we witnessed was real or some sort of illusion in the arctic fog.’
    • ‘The audience sat in a stunned silence, their mouths agape at Cohen's audacity.’
    amazed, filled with astonishment, filled with amazement, astounded, staggered, surprised, startled, stunned, thunderstruck, aghast, taken aback, confounded, dumbfounded, stupefied, dazed, nonplussed, dumbstruck, open-mouthed, agape, lost for words, wide-eyed, awed, filled with awe, filled with wonder, awestruck, wonderstruck
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: from a- ‘on’+ gape.

Pronunciation:

agape

/əˈɡeɪp/

Main definitions of agape in English

: agape1agape2

agape2

noun

Theology
  • 1[mass noun] Christian love, as distinct from erotic love or simple affection.

    • ‘Thus at least some form of agape is possible independent of Christian faith and hope.’
    • ‘God gives you agape love - deep, unconditional, fatherly love.’
    • ‘Here there are many good examples of agape friendship.’
    • ‘At the center stands an unapologetic Christian account of agape.’
    • ‘The ancient Greeks made the distinction between eros and agape.’
    • ‘Whereas among the Greeks the primary virtues were practical wisdom, self-restraint, justice and courage, for Paul the primary virtue was agape.’
    • ‘But agape is love without any thought of reward or benefit.’
    • ‘The love of God is non-possessive eros; the love of man pure agape; the love of God is passion; the love of man, compassion.’
    • ‘Jesus' new commandment is that his followers practice love, agape.’
    • ‘Christians are urged to practice agape: love not as sexual desire, not as a devotion to something transcendent, not as friendship, but as charity.’
    • ‘Delectio is the Latin word for agape in the Bible, it is a love which honours the other person; it is the love which we are enjoined to love the other person.’
    • ‘Desire is frightening to Christians who are used to saying that only agape - unconditional, self-emptying love - is truly Christian.’
    • ‘I know, for example, that in Greek there are three words for love: agape, philia, and eros.’
    • ‘Lewis Ayres says that the distinction between eros and agape does not work for Augustine.’
    • ‘Grant's book is a highly nuanced examination of much of the literature on altruism and agape, while also giving some attention to recent considerations of eros and philia.’
    • ‘Too many craved spiritual gifts and wanted to use them without having agape as their end or aim.’
    • ‘If we work in this way, we offer the possibility that our research will include our own formation of agape, or love for the ‘other.’’
    • ‘In other words, such love is still within the province of Eros, whereas, much like Spinoza's third kind of knowledge, agape is intellectual love.’
    • ‘Christ is agape; self - giving, nonresistant love.’
    • ‘The kind of love I believe they mean is this agape, unconditional love.’
    1. 1.1[count noun] A communal meal held in Christian fellowship.
      • ‘It is an agape feast in the sense that God's love is shared, not only among the participants but also with those who eat and drink and those who are hungry in the world.’
      • ‘This ritual blessing of bread and wine was usually performed within the context of a meal called the agape.’
      • ‘There were songs sang to emphasise the sad mood, then we journeyed on to my grandfather's house for the agape, which is a funeral luncheon.’
      • ‘What a privilege to break the fast with an agape meal… a love feast!’
      • ‘The agape did not take the place of an ordinary meal as do the modern church suppers at which people eat to satisfy hunger.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Greek agapē brotherly love.

Pronunciation:

agape

/əˈɡeɪp/