Definition of freethinker in US English:



  • A person who rejects accepted opinions, especially those concerning religious belief.

    • ‘It should be remembered that many western intellectuals, including atheist freethinkers like Bertrand Russell, were originally very optimistic about the Soviet revolution.’
    • ‘They were freethinkers and opponents of religious dogma.’
    • ‘A handful were freethinkers, steeped in the anti-clerical writings of the Enlightenment; but most were sincere Catholics, concerned only to purge the Church of its abuses, making it leaner but fitter.’
    • ‘What is even more remarkable, however, is that this reactionary tract was penned by a self-proclaimed freethinker and anarchist.’
    • ‘In short, in England and in America, the freedoms we have won were won often by alliance between freethinkers and religious progressives.’
    • ‘Ethan Allen was a freethinker, as atheists were known as back then.’
    • ‘Fundamentalists, conspiracy theorists, and plain folk live alongside freethinkers, environmentalists, artists, and scientists.’
    • ‘I also thank the youth center in Doha, which respects freethinkers and supports them.’
    • ‘To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.’
    • ‘Should a teacher who is a freethinker or a deist, as were many of the country's earliest patriots, be forced to lie to her students by being required to lead them in the oath?’
    • ‘Critics of humanism have for centuries declared that freethinkers once departing from religion have abandoned morality.’
    • ‘That inability to distinguish between free enquiry and deliberate insult reminds me of those who wielded the blasphemy laws which were used to persecute freethinkers and rationalists in the middle ages.’
    • ‘Like Karl Marx, freethinkers regarded religion as oppressive.’
    • ‘Orphaned and blinded from childhood, he became an ascetic freethinker and materialist.’
    • ‘But in this column I'd like to look at some websites concerned with ethics as a subject of interest to rationalists and freethinkers, rather than as an ‘issue’ for Internet users.’
    • ‘Abolitionists, freethinkers, and suffragettes found spiritual innovation compatible with their quest for social reform.’
    • ‘Clarifying what is science and what is superstition must become the top priority of India's freethinkers.’
    • ‘The republican mainstream was willing and in fact committed to a regime that granted individuals and families the right to choose to be Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Spiritualists, Freemasons, freethinkers, or nothing at all.’
    • ‘Since I've taken my place as a freethinker and an atheist, I'm happier in life now than ever before.’
    • ‘The religious freedom that enabled Protestants and Catholics to live in harmony made the Netherlands a haven for freethinkers and religious minorities.’
    nonconformist, individualist, independent, maverick, dissenter, heretic
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