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a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.
(initial capital letter) Philosophy.

a member of a philosophical school of ancient Greece, the earliest group of which consisted of Pyrrho and his followers, who maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible.
any later thinker who doubts or questions the possibility of real knowledge of any kind.

pertaining to skeptics or ; .
(initial capital letter) pertaining to the Skeptics.
Contemporary Examples

Frankly, I came a skeptic,” he said, “but am leaving impressed.
She’s Actually Smart Nancy Collins October 18, 2008

Another man, a skeptic, sent there to haze Browne, to “punk” her, asks Browne how old his father was when he passed away.
What Psychic Sylvia Brown Didn’t See Winston Ross May 9, 2013

Though an Obamacare skeptic, I am hopeful that some health-care reforms will be made, as is my family.
Why Obamacare Scares America Conor Friedersdorf August 10, 2009

Abrams is a skeptic, which he is well within his rights to be (a position this writer shares).
Does Elliott Abrams Speak For American Jewish Leaders? Ali Gharib August 12, 2013

His fan base must be eating this up, but the show’s currency comes from what it can offer a skeptic in search of a good time.
I Love the Julian Assange Show! Tracy Quan July 2, 2012

Historical Examples

The Philosopher shook his head, and seemed, for a time, much depressed; upon which the skeptic rallied him.
A Court of Inquiry Grace S. Richmond

We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose.
Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson

The skeptic laughed, and strolled away—not in the direction of the trout stream.
A Court of Inquiry Grace S. Richmond

He is what is called a divine nowadays; but used to be called a skeptic.
Put Yourself in His Place Charles Reade

You are too much of a skeptic, Foucarmont; you’ll spoil all your pleasures that way.
Nana, The Miller’s Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille Emile Zola

noun, adjective
an archaic, and the usual US, spelling of sceptic

also sceptic, 1580s, “member of an ancient Greek school that doubted the possibility of real knowledge,” from Middle French sceptique and directly from Latin scepticus “the sect of the Skeptics,” from Greek skeptikos (plural Skeptikoi “the Skeptics, followers of Pyrrho”), noun use of adjective meaning “inquiring, reflective” (the name taken by the disciples of the Greek philosopher Pyrrho, who lived c.360-c.270 B.C.E.), related to skeptesthai “to reflect, look, view” (see scope (n.1)).

Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. [Miguel de Unamuno, “Essays and Soliloquies,” 1924]

The extended sense of “one with a doubting attitude” first recorded 1610s. The sk- spelling is an early 17c. Greek revival and is preferred in U.S. As a verb, scepticize (1690s) failed to catch on.


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