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


noun dog·ma \ˈdȯg-mə, ˈdäg-\

Simple Definition of dogma

  • : a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted

  • : a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organization

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dogma

plural dogmas also dogmata play \-mə-tə\

  1. 1 a :  something held as an established opinion; especially :  a definite authoritative tenet b :  a code of such tenets <pedagogical dogma> c :  a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds

  2. 2 :  a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

Examples of dogma in a sentence

  1. The Saudi regime has tried to deflect questions about its management of the country… by supporting and spreading an uncompromising religious dogma. —Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, 1 Oct. 2001

  2. He was known for his ability to burst the bubble of generally accepted dogma, to puncture it with data and detached observations. —Sherwin B. Nuland, New Republic, 19 Feb. 2001

  3. It had long been biological dogma that whales were scarce in the open ocean, but the Navy was picking up whale songs thousands of miles from land. —Sharon Begley et al., Newsweek, 31 Jan. 2000

  4. For in creating a cultural orthodoxy designed to combat racism, urban disorder, and a legacy of oppression, we subject ourselves to delusional dogma, the tyranny of conformity … —Gerald Early, Harper's, January 1997

  5. These new findings challenge the current dogma in the field.

  6. <the Catholic dogma of the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary>

Origin of dogma

Latin dogmat-, dogma, from Greek, from dokein to seem — more at decent

First Known Use: 1638

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

DOGMA Defined for Kids


noun dog·ma \ˈdȯg-mə\

Definition of dogma for Students

  1. 1 :  something firmly believed <She repeated medical dogma against eating sugar.>

  2. 2 :  a belief or set of beliefs taught by a church

Seen and Heard

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


to expose to danger or risk

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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