pertaining to knowledge.
possessing knowledge, especially esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters.
(initial capital letter) pertaining to or characteristic of the Gnostics.
(initial capital letter) a member of any of certain sects among the early Christians who claimed to have superior knowledge of spiritual matters, and explained the world as created by powers or agencies arising as emanations from the Godhead.
a combination of and , used to form adjectives from stems ending in -gnosis:
Contemporary Examples

We also have the gnostic Gospels, discovered in 1947 and adding a wealth of insights into early Christian thinking.
Who Was Jesus, Anyway? Jay Parini November 30, 2013

Historical Examples

The name gnostic originally attached to schools which had so named themselves.
History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) Adolph Harnack

He who is conversant with all kinds of wisdom will be pre-eminently a gnostic.
Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries Annie Besant

We hear frequently of gnostic prophets and prophetesses, see my notes on Herm.
History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) Adolph Harnack

The spread and influence of the gnostic sects was notoriously wide.
The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria Morris Jastrow

The heresies against which Ignatius contends imply the rise of the later gnostic and Docetic sects.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 3 Various

And here the gnostic interest was at hand with an opportune idea.
The Catholic World. Volume III; Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. E. Rameur

Here this gnostic doctrine of Persian origin took the form of a Christian heresy.
The Influence of the Bible on Civilisation Ernst Von Dobschutz

The gnostic recast Lipsius dates about the middle of the 3rd century.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 2 Various

The letters relate to the condemnation of certain gnostic views.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 4 Various

of, relating to, or possessing knowledge, esp esoteric spiritual knowledge
an adherent of Gnosticism
of or relating to Gnostics or to Gnosticism

1580s, “believer in a mystical religious doctrine of spiritual knowledge,” from Late Latin Gnosticus, from Late Greek Gnostikos, noun use of adj. gnostikos “knowing, able to discern,” from gnostos “knowable,” from gignoskein “to learn, to come to know” (see know). Applied to various early Christian sects that claimed direct personal knowledge beyond the Gospel or the Church hierarchy.

“relating to knowledge,” 1650s, from Greek gnostikos “knowing, able to discern,” from gnostos “known, perceived, understood,” from gignoskein “to learn, to come to know” (see know).


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