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adjective di·dac·tic \dī-ˈdak-tik, də-\

Simple Definition of didactic

  • : designed or intended to teach people something

  • —used to describe someone or something that tries to teach something (such as proper or moral behavior) in a way that is annoying or unwanted

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of didactic

  1. 1 a :  designed or intended to teach b :  intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment <didactic poetry>

  2. 2 :  making moral observations

didactical play \-ti-kəl\ adjective
didactically play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
didacticism play \-tə-ˌsi-zəm\ noun

Examples of didactic in a sentence

  1. Slaves related human as well as animal trickster tales; they told Bible stories, explanatory tales, moralistic and didactic tales, supernatural tales and legends. —Lawrence W. Levine, The Unpredictable Past, 1993

  2. For two decades, many Americans, including some early advocates of the Vietnam intervention, have been relentlessly didactic, extracting cautionary lessons from Vietnam. —George F. Will, Newsweek, 22 May 1989

  3. —the trappings, one might say—of a didactic and resolutely pious Victorian sensibility in the service of an anarchic imagination. —Joyce Carol Oates, The Profane Art, 1983

  4. <the poet's works became increasingly didactic after his religious conversion>

Did You Know?

Didaktikos is a Greek word that means "apt at teaching." It comes from didaskein, meaning "to teach." Something "didactic" does just that: teaches or instructs. "Didactic" conveyed that neutral meaning when it was first borrowed in the 17th century, and still does; a didactic piece of writing is one that is meant to be instructive as well as artistic. Parables are generally didactic because they aim to teach a moral lesson. "Didactic" now sometimes has negative connotations, too, however. Something "didactic" is often overburdened with instruction to the point of being dull. Or it might be pompously instructive or moralistic.

Origin of didactic

Greek didaktikos, from didaskein to teach

First Known Use: 1658

Rhymes with didactic

Medical Dictionary


adjective di·dac·tic \dī-ˈdak-tik, də-\

Medical Definition of didactic

  1. :  involving lecture and textbook instruction rather than demonstration and laboratory study

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up didactic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to dishevel or rumple

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