Definition of antinomian in US English:



  • Relating to the view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law.

    • ‘Blake was not an isolated rebel but part of an antinomian tradition, a radical underground, those who wrote within the assumptions of ‘enthusiasm,’ dating back at least to the seventeenth-century religious revolutionaries.’
    • ‘They maintain a significant hold on political power; and since a lot of them have an antinomian streak, I doubt the rule of law would stand in their way, should we manage to loosen their grip.’
    • ‘There are offenders in the rich world, the worst in this regard, in some respects, being the French, though the antinomian intellectuals of Britain and America are not much better.’
    • ‘I wonder if any acts my friends or I have ever engaged in, in tearooms or outside them, would have antinomian claims to validity.’
    • ‘The antinomian Blake does, however, have at least one similarity with the oppositional Austen.’
    • ‘Since I haven't kept up with every antinomian argument since the time of the Huguenots, I only understand about half of his rants.’
    • ‘Accusations of troublemaking and antinomian behaviour ensued, and he found himself under attack.’
    • ‘This strong sense of predestination is a characteristic element in Greene's work and explains much of its antinomian flavor.’
    • ‘Back distinguishes an avant garde from an antinomian stance by situating the latter ‘firmly within a tradition as much as she is in defiance of that tradition’.’
    • ‘By the late sixties, however, critics routinely derided Capp as bitter and out of touch; the antinomian values of the generation that he mocked were ascendant.’
    • ‘Health legislation is being used not to improve the state of the nation's health but to undermine its old, family-based values and to replace them with the antinomian morality of the urban elite.’
    • ‘It is not that the themes of modernization and antinomian desire could not be found in these texts, but that neglecting them makes it easier to evade the problem of rhetoric and audience in Blake.’
    • ‘Of course, 1968 was fueled by powerful utopian and antinomian impulses.’
    • ‘Indeed, her writing falls within an American antinomian tradition and can be seen as an act of sustained radical revisionist historiography.’
    • ‘Oddly enough, with the exception of those related to sex, American Christians tend to take an antinomian view of ‘physical sins.’’
    • ‘On one hand, Luther condemned Agricola's antinomian theology for its rejection of the law in the Christian life.’
    • ‘He would seem to be offering a kind of antinomian horology at worst, at best an unctuous pragmatism of local mores.’
    • ‘He rejects antinomian ideas and upholds the believer's responsibility to co-operate with God in sanctification.’
    • ‘Following Coughlin's analysis, we see how the laxity encouraged by an antinomian atmosphere results in the countenancing of sinful and criminal behavior which, in turn, produces a legalistic reaction.’
    • ‘These beliefs mark the outer limit of diversity in the generally antinomian culture of contemporary American liberalism.’


  • A person holding antinomian beliefs.

    • ‘I'm not an Antinomian, but I've thought about it!’
    • ‘Some, notably the antinomians, were theologically unorthodox; their obsession with personal “conversion” led them to question whether the “visible saints” governing the colony were truly saintly.’
    • ‘In my first pastorate, I had often to battle with Antinomians,—that is, people who held that, because they believed themselves to be elect, they might live as they liked.’
    • ‘Antinomians will not yield it lawful to a believer to pray for remission of sins.’
    • ‘I don't think you made a real distinction between eternal security and perseverance of the saints in your article, and yes, dealing with antinomians has made me sensitive to that.’
    • ‘Liberals find it necessary to deny recurring suspicions that they are antinomians, moral relativists, and secularists set on removing religious values from the public square.’
    • ‘In the context of the Boston church, which already taught a Covenant of Grace, the objections of the Antinomians centered on the concept of sanctification.’
    • ‘Why should parents fund the moral decivilization of their children at the hands of tenured antinomians?’


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin Antinomi, the name of a 16th-century sect in Germany alleged to hold this view, from Greek anti- ‘opposite, against’ + nomos ‘law’.