cat·​e·​chism | \ ˈka-tə-ˌki-zəm How to pronounce catechism (audio) \

Definition of catechism

1 : oral instruction
2 : a manual for catechizing (see catechize sense 1) specifically : a summary of religious doctrine often in the form of questions and answers
3a : a set of formal questions put as a test
b : something resembling a catechism especially in being a rote response or formulaic statement The cook often consulted the latest nutritional catechism for advice.

Other Words from catechism

catechismal \ ˌka-​tə-​ˈkiz-​məl How to pronounce catechism (audio) \ adjective
catechistic \ ˌka-​tə-​ˈki-​stik How to pronounce catechism (audio) \ 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 His parents taught catechism in their backyard and raised children with social justice hearts just steps away from their parish, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Feb. 2022 It’s in the Statehouse, not the Archives, where Owen’s handiwork perhaps best reveals itself — when Sons of Confederate Veterans repeat the lies of the Confederate catechism in committee meetings. al, 16 Feb. 2022 Quade selected River Forest resident Guccione for the role in the show, which combines a mock catechism class with standup comedy and improv, for several reasons. Myrna Petlicki,, 25 Oct. 2021 And the beauty versions are just the latest iteration of the way Advent calendars, invented in the mid-19th century in Germany to teach children about the catechism and spirituality, have been commercialized over the years. New York Times, 6 Dec. 2021 The founding is a sort of catechism for Anton and his ilk, but that doesn’t apply to the New Right vanguard. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, 3 Dec. 2021 From February to May 1923, young Guadalupe was graded in the following areas — department, application, order and neatness, punctuality, catechism, Bible history, grammar (English), reading and spelling. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Dec. 2021 Neither genuinely critical nor full-throatedly prescriptive, these books are closer in spirit to catechism. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, 13 Sep. 2021 There was no weekly general audience on Wednesday, for example, but the monthlong suspension of the pope's weekly catechism lessons had been previously announced. Fox News, 7 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catechism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of catechism

1502, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for catechism

see catechesis

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The first known use of catechism was in 1502

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Cite this Entry

“Catechism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for catechism


cat·​e·​chism | \ ˈka-tə-ˌki-zəm How to pronounce catechism (audio) \

Kids Definition of catechism

1 : a series of questions and answers used in giving religious instruction
2 : a set of formal questions


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