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
Full Definition of didactic
didacticalplay \-ti-kəl\ adjective
didacticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
didacticismplay \-tə-ˌsi-zəm\ noun
Examples of didactic in a sentence
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
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
—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
<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 and Etymology of didactic
Greek didaktikos, from didaskein to teach
First Known Use: 1658
Medical Definition of didactic
: involving lecture and textbook instruction rather than demonstration and laboratory study
Seen and Heard
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