cat·​e·​chism ˈka-tə-ˌki-zəm How to pronounce catechism (audio)
: oral instruction
: a manual for catechizing (see catechize sense 1)
specifically : a summary of religious doctrine often in the form of questions and answers
: a set of formal questions put as a test
: something resembling a catechism especially in being a rote response or formulaic statement
The cook often consulted the latest nutritional catechism for advice.
catechismal adjective
catechistic adjective

Examples of catechism in a Sentence

They went to school to learn their catechism. He taught catechism at Sunday school.
Recent Examples on the Web The Republicans’ modern-day political alchemist has, in just three years, made 2020-election denialism—and its corollary set of falsehoods about January 6th—a core tenet in the Republican catechism. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2024 Hi Chris, The bishop’s policies reflect, and are rooted in, the catechism and beliefs of the Catholic Church. cleveland, 12 Sep. 2023 The conventional catechisms of art were dominated by the New York School, which Ruscha’s art held in an equivocal — and often very funny — embrace. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 Htoo now teaches catechism classes, sings in the choir and participates in the Karen youth group. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2023 Ramirez was curious about the catechism. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Nov. 2022 Among them was the Zuña family, who was staying at the Iglesia Matriz de Alausí, where rooms for catechism or parish meetings were adapted with bunk beds days ago after authorities declared an emergency in the area due to the risk of landslides. Patricia Oleas and Cesar Olmos, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Mar. 2023 In Brazil, where my wife and I lived for a few years, those dramatic moments (among others) have coalesced into a kind of secular catechism surrounding a sport that for Brazilians — and Argentinians, Mexicans and their Latin American neighbors — is far, far more than simply a national religion. Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2022 However, the group wants to encourage more Catholic schools to create safe spaces and encourage discussion that promotes inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth in an age-appropriate way and within the framework of the catechism. Caroline Beck, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'catechism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see catechesis

First Known Use

1502, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of catechism was in 1502

Dictionary Entries Near catechism

Cite this Entry

“Catechism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


cat·​e·​chism ˈkat-ə-ˌkiz-əm How to pronounce catechism (audio)
: a summary of religious doctrine in the form of questions and answers
: a set of questions requiring memorized answers put as a test
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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