- In pre-Socratic philosophy, the principle governing the cosmos,
the source of this principle, or human reasoning about the cosmos.
- Among the Sophists, the topics of rational argument or the
- In Stoicism, the active, material, rational principle of the
cosmos; nous. Identified with God, it is the source of all activity and
generation and is the power of reason residing in the human soul.
- In biblical Judaism, the word of God, which itself has creative
power and is God's medium of communication with the human race.
- In Hellenistic Judaism, a hypostasis associated with divine
- Christianity. In Saint John's Gospel, especially in the
prologue (1:1-14), the creative word of God, which is itself God and incarnate
in Jesus. Also called Word.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English
Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.