Agape vs agape

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Agape and agape  are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words agape and agape, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences. 

Agape (uh GAYP) is a modifier that means wide open; often the word agape is used to describe someone’s mouth that is wide open in surprise. The modifier agape is derived from gapa, which is an old Norse word that means mouth opened wide, and the prefix a-, which is an intensifier. The word agape has been in use since the 1600s.

Agape (ah GAh pay) is a noun that means God’s love or altruistic love. Agape is a type of love that is given freely with no thought of reciprocation; it is not emotional love or sexual love. The word agape is derived from the Greek word, agapē, which means a brotherly love.


One dead white eye stares up from the plate, mouth agape in some infernal scream, slathered in a sauce the colour of searing flame. (Daily Mail)

By word of mouth—by word of horrified, perplexed, agape mouth—Squid Game is currently the most watched series on Netflix. (Men’s Health Magazine)

But while they all depict love for the deserving and desired, agape goes the extra mile of loving even the undeserving and repulsive. (The Guardian Nigeria)

Getting vaccinated is an act of agape love for my neighbors. (Baptist News Global)