Theism, in the field of comparative religion, is the belief in the existence of deities. In popular parlance, the term theism often describes the classical conception of god(s) that is found in the monotheistic and polytheistic religions.
The term theism derives from the Greek theos meaning "god". The term theism was first used by Ralph Cudworth (1617–1688). In Cudworth's definition, they are "strictly and properly called Theists, who affirm, that a perfectly conscious understanding being, or mind, existing of itself from eternity, was the cause of all other things".
Atheism is commonly understood as rejection of theism in the broadest sense of theism, i.e. the rejection of belief in a god or gods.
(page 175 in 1967 edition)
The claim that the existence of any deity is unknown or unknowable is agnosticism.
(page 56 in 1967 edition)
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1670s, "belief in a deity or deities," (as opposed to atheism); by 1711 as "belief in one god" (as opposed to polytheism); by 1714 as "belief in the existence of God as creator and ruler of the universe" (as opposed to deism), the usual modern sense; see theist + -ism.\n\nTheism assumes a living relation of God to his creatures, but does not define it. It differs from deism in that the latter is negative and involves a denial of revelation, while the former is affirmative, and underlies Christianity. One may be a theist and not be a Christian, but he cannot be a Christian and not be a theist.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Theism \The"ism\, n. [From Gr. ? God; probably akin to ? to pray for, ? spoken by God, decreed: cf. F. th['e]isme. Cf. Enthusiasm, Pantheon, Theology.] The belief or acknowledgment of the existence of a God, as opposed to atheism, pantheism, or polytheism.
Theism \The"ism\ (th[=e]"[i^]z'm), n. [NL. & E. thea tea + -ism.] (Med.) The morbid condition resulting from the excessive use of tea.
Etymology 1 n. 1 (context belief system English) Belief in the existence of at least one deity. 2 (context belief system English) Belief in the existence of a personal creator god, goddess, gods and/or goddesses present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. The God may be known by or through revelation. Etymology 2
n. the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods [ant: atheism]
Usage examples of "theism".
Walker, for example, in his extremely suggestive Spiritual Monism and Christian Theism.
Walker, for example, in his extremely suggestive work on Monism and Christian Theism.
It is remarkable, that the principles of religion have a kind of flux and reflux in the human mind, and that men have a natural tendency to rise from idolatry to theism, and to sink again from theism into idolatry.
Hebrew Theism itself became involved in symbolism and image-worship, to which all religions ever tend.
Part XII of the Dialogues in which Philo reduces the conflict between atheism and theism to a verbal dispute.
Whichever side of this dilemma we take, it must appear impossible, that theism could, from reasoning, have been the primary religion of human race, and have afterwards, by its corruption, given birth to polytheism and to all the various superstitions of the heathen world.
The philosophy of absolute idealism, so vigorously represented both in Scotland and America to-day, has to struggle with this difficulty quite as much as scholastic theism struggled in its time.