Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

doctrinaire

play
noun doc·tri·naire \ˌdäk-trə-ˈner\

Definition of doctrinaire

  1. :  one who attempts to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties



Origin of doctrinaire

French, from doctrine


First Known Use: 1831

Rhymes with doctrinaire


2

doctrinaire

adjective doc·tri·naire

Simple Definition of doctrinaire

  • —used to describe a person who has very strong beliefs about what should be done and will not change them or accept other people's opinions

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of doctrinaire

  1. :  of, relating to, or characteristic of a doctrinaire :  dogmatic

doctrinairism play \-ˈner-ˌi-zəm\ noun

Examples of doctrinaire in a sentence

  1. <a doctrinaire conservative, the columnist takes special delight in baiting liberals>



Did You Know?

Doctrinaire didn't start out as a critical word. In post-revolutionary France, a group who favored constitutional monarchy called themselves Doctrinaires. Doctrine in French, as in English, is a word for the principles on which a government is based; it is ultimately from Latin doctrina, meaning "teaching" or "instruction." But both ultraroyalists and revolutionists strongly derided any doctrine of reconciling royalty and representation as utterly impracticable, and they resented the Doctrinaires' influence over Louis XVIII. So when doctrinaire became an adjective, "there adhered to it some indescribable tincture of unpopularity which was totally indelible" (Blanc's History of Ten Years 1830-40, translated by Walter K. Kelly in 1848).

1834

First Known Use of doctrinaire

1834

Synonym Discussion of doctrinaire

dictatorial, magisterial, dogmatic, doctrinaire, oracular mean imposing one's will or opinions on others. dictatorial stresses autocratic, high-handed methods and a domineering manner <exercised dictatorial control over the office>. magisterial stresses assumption or use of prerogatives appropriate to a magistrate or schoolmaster in forcing acceptance of one's opinions <the magisterial tone of his pronouncements>. dogmatic implies being unduly and offensively positive in laying down principles and expressing opinions <dogmatic about what is art and what is not>. doctrinaire implies a disposition to follow abstract theories in framing laws or policies affecting people <a doctrinaire approach to improving the economy>. oracular implies the manner of one who delivers opinions in cryptic phrases or with pompous dogmatism <a designer who is the oracular voice of fashion>.


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ