didactic was our Word of the Day on 03/02/2010. Hear the podcast!
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
DIDACTIC Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of didactic for English Language Learners
: 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
Medical Definition of didactic
: involving lecture and textbook instruction rather than demonstration and laboratory study
Learn More about didactic
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up didactic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).