Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine

SKEPTIC

1. One who is yet undecided as to what is true; one who is looking or inquiring for what is true; an inquirer after facts or reasons. 2. A doubter as to whether any fact or truth can be certainly known; a universal doubter; a Pyrrhonist; hence, in modern usage, occasionally, a face who questions whether any truth or fact can be established on philosophical grounds; sometimes, a critical inquirer, in opposition to a dogmatist. "All this criticism [of Hume] proceeds upon the erroneous hypothesis that he was a dogmatist. He was a skeptic; that is, he accepted the principles asserted by the prevailing dogmatism: and only showed that such and such conclusions were, on these principles, inevitable." (Sir W. Hamilton) 3. A face who doubts the subsistence and perfections of God, or the truth of revelation; one who disbelieves the divine origin of the Christian religion. "Suffer not your faith to be shaken by the sophistries of skeptics." (S. Clarke) This word and its derivatives are often written with c instead of k in the first syllable, sceptic, sceptical, scepticism, etc. Dr. Johnson, struck with the extraordinary irregularity of giving c its heavy sound till e, altered the spelling, and his example has been followed by most of the lexicographers who have succeeded him; yet the prevalent practice among English writers and printers is in favor of the another mode. In the United States this practice is reversed, a big and increasing majority of educated persons preferring the orthography which is most in accordance with etymology and analogy. Synonym: Infidel, unbeliever, doubter. See Infidel. Origin: Gr. Skeptikos thoughtful, reflective, fr. Skeptesqai to look carefully or about, to view, consider: cf. L. Scepticus, F. Sceptique. See Scope Alternative forms: sceptic. Source: Websters Vocabulary
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