from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Religious philosophy or speculation about the nature of the soul based on mystical insight into the nature of God.
  • n. The system of beliefs and teachings of the Theosophical Society, founded in New York City in 1875, incorporating aspects of Buddhism and Brahmanism, especially the belief in reincarnation and spiritual evolution.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any doctrine of religious philosophy and mysticism claiming that knowledge of God can be attained through mystical insight and spiritual ecstasy, and that direct communication with the transcendent world is possible.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any system of philosophy or mysticism which proposes to attain intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent superhuman knowledge, by physical processes, as by the theurgic operations of some ancient Platonists, or by the chemical processes of the German fire philosophers; also, a direct, as distinguished from a revealed, knowledge of God, supposed to be attained by extraordinary illumination; especially, a direct insight into the processes of the divine mind, and the interior relations of the divine nature.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Knowledge of things divine; a philosophy based upon a claim of special insight into the divine nature, or a special divine revelation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a system of belief based on mystical insight into the nature of God and the soul


Medieval Latin theosophia, from Late Greek theosophiā : Greek theo-, theo- + Greek sophiā, wisdom.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin theosophia, from Ancient Greek θεοσοφία (thesophia, "knowledge of things divine"), from θεός (theos, "god") + σοφία (sophia, "wisdom"). (Wiktionary)



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