also philosoph, "Enlightenment rationalist and skeptic," especially in reference to any of the French Encyclopædists, often disparaging or with contemptuous implication (when used by believers), 1774, from French philosophe, literally "philosopher" (Old French filosofe; see philosopher). Usually italicized in English, but nativized by Peter Gay ("The Enlightenment," 1966) and others. Also compare philosophist. It also was the older word for "philosopher" in English, from Old English to c. 1400.
updated on May 21, 2020