Definition of skeptic in US English:

skeptic

(British sceptic)

noun

  • 1A person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions.

    • ‘At first, the idea of bringing the Internet to print received much criticism from skeptics.’
    • ‘I have no doubt that there are many sceptics who will describe this vision as a pipe-dream.’
    • ‘Cynics and sceptics raised uncomfortable questions, and found serious flaws with the script.’
    • ‘Little said skeptics have questioned the science of the project since the beginning.’
    • ‘He was different from the other skeptic that had questioned her before.’
    • ‘I'm not giving in to the sceptics and critics.’
    • ‘Already skeptics are questioning whether the initial budget for the space plan is sufficient.’
    • ‘And among the administration's critics and war skeptics, this Senator is front and center.’
    • ‘Lieberman has drawn so much praise, in fact, that some skeptics are questioning whether the media are getting carried away.’
    • ‘Good journalists should be outsiders, questioners, sceptics, empathisers.’
    • ‘Even the sceptics who had questioned the wisdom of spending 800 million euros to build and upgrade stadia, joined the party mood.’
    • ‘Indeed, all progress depends on the sceptic, the questioner, the person who does not wholly conform.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the first woman literary critic of Malayalam proved her critics and sceptics wrong.’
    • ‘He is rather like me, a true skeptic whose passion for questioning emotionally held beliefs and outspokenness makes him many dangerous enemies.’
    • ‘Mack continued to write about his meetings with abductees and also to endure bitter criticism and abuse from full-time UFO sceptics..’
    • ‘The couple announced their romance in Italy earlier this month, prompting sceptics to question the validity of the match.’
    • ‘He accepts there remain sceptics and doubters concerning the present Dublin side.’
    • ‘Some sceptics even question the statistical findings of the Central Statistics Office.’
    • ‘Once again, the people proved all the skeptics, all the doubters, all the detractors, wrong, that democracy can work in this part of the world.’
    • ‘How does he gain by fortressing himself and his administration away from critics, skeptics, and questioners?’
    cynic, doubter, questioner, scoffer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who doubts the truth of Christianity and other religions; an atheist.
      • ‘Merchants, far from being sceptics, were often the agents of religious fervour and proselytism on the shifting trade routes between civilisations.’
      • ‘Some skeptics also tend to lump all forms of religion in with irrationalism and superstition.’
      • ‘The most die-hard atheist or skeptic may suddenly find God when faced with an extreme suffering or danger.’
      • ‘Some of the food laws have been attacked by sceptics as ‘proof’ that the Bible makes mistakes, meaning it could not be God's written word.’
      • ‘Most people do not attend church, but they do not call themselves atheists or skeptics.’
      • ‘He is now an atheist and skeptic - although I fear he'll fall back into faith someday, given how sad he seems to find the idea of no afterlife.’
      • ‘The main reason skeptics reject the Biblical account is the work of British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon, who excavated the area in the 1950s.’
      • ‘A religious sceptic, and by nature a conciliator, Orléans sought a compromise.’
      • ‘Plimer has made something of a career out of baiting Christians, though his antics have proved an embarrassment even to some of his fellow sceptics.’
      • ‘Rather than continually confront the skeptics and critics, he chose to withdraw periodically to spend time in prayer with his Father.’
      • ‘We all know that the film is being turned into a movie, to satisfy all the religious sceptics who can't actually read.’
      • ‘The inevitable convergence of such findings with religion makes it impossible for a sceptic, atheist and man of science to swallow such phenomena.’
      • ‘But, I was not a sceptic but rather a true believer in God.’
      • ‘That conclusion is fine by me, because I'm a religious skeptic.’
      • ‘A skeptic might say that you're just asking them to package their positions into more religious language.’
      • ‘It is not aimed at the total sceptic, but rather the serious seeker.’
      • ‘Ordinary skeptics may be atheists and be completely unaware of the arguments of theological skepticism.’
      • ‘But in general, I think we do ourselves a disservice as skeptics if we try to maintain that the only ‘pure’ skeptic is an atheist skeptic.’
      • ‘On the contrary, he bracketed sceptics with atheists and free thinkers as the adversaries whom his system was meant to frustrate.’
      • ‘The sceptic's caricature that Noah had fish tanks on the ark is wrong.’
  • 2Philosophy
    An ancient or modern philosopher who denies the possibility of knowledge, or even rational belief, in some sphere.

    The leading ancient skeptic was Pyrrho, whose followers at the Academy vigorously opposed Stoicism. Modern skeptics have held diverse views: the most extreme have doubted whether any knowledge at all of the external world is possible (see solipsism), while others have questioned the existence of objects beyond our experience of them

    • ‘Such a skeptic denies we could know most of the things we take ourselves to know, because we cannot rule out the logical possibility that we are massively deceived about the world.’
    • ‘Ancient sceptics are uninterested in carving out a position within philosophy; they think that philosophical reason will always undermine itself.’
    • ‘In antiquity, sceptics attacked the possibility of knowledge, but still needed to give some account of how they regulated their lives and opinions.’
    • ‘Xenophanes was a sceptic who denied that knowledge could be obtained by us humans; at best we merely have beliefs, the truth or falsity of which will remain largely unknown to us.’
    • ‘Rather they had never been skeptics because they had never meant to deny the possibility of knowledge.’

adjective

  • another term for skeptical
    • ‘We will see the sceptic side of him very much on display as he resists attempts to remove Britain's veto over tax and social security.’
    • ‘I am a security guard for an exclusive gated community and a retired police officer that is inherently skeptic about most non factual things.’
    • ‘He was a sceptic liberal who, in Two Cheers for Democracy, reviled Churchillian nationalism and powerfully argued the social value of being tepidly rather than ardently nationalist.’
    • ‘They have set up development circles designed to hone the skills of would-be mediums such as this ordinary wife and mother with a super sceptic husband.’
    • ‘Please feel free to reference this page to UFO and skeptic groups.’
    • ‘But as the polio campaign has dragged on, the sceptic voices have grown louder.’
    • ‘This void is happily filled by those who insert sensationalism and far fetched scenarios which are eaten up by conspiracy theorists and hardened skeptic scholars like yourself.’
    • ‘However, although in one sense I ‘won’ the arguments, this did not feel like a victory for me or for the skeptic cause.’
    • ‘These are findings that give the lie to the more excessive propaganda of the sceptic press.’
    • ‘Not to be skeptic or jealous, but I give it another two weeks.’
    • ‘The notion is irreconcilable to basic skeptic tenets.’
    • ‘Two of the leading men on the Australian skeptic scene introduce you to the organization and answer a few of the questions you may have.’
    • ‘It has become a revelation and confirmation of my sceptic mind to realise that it is through the ruins of our past that we can make sense of our present and piece together our future.’
    • ‘I've been a regular fan of you and your skeptic cause for a long time now, and it was a pleasure meeting you a couple of years ago.’
    • ‘Regional skeptic groups have been growing in number throughout North America and in other parts of the world.’
    • ‘It's kind of sad that people are so skeptic and cynical of human decency.’

Origin

Late 16th century (in skeptic (sense 2 of the noun)): from French sceptique, or via Latin from Greek skeptikos, from skepsis ‘inquiry, doubt’.

Pronunciation

skeptic

/ˈskɛptɪk//ˈskeptik/