doc·trin·al | \ˈdäk-trə-nᵊl, especially British däk-ˈtrī- \

Definition of doctrinal 

: of, relating to, or preoccupied with doctrine

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from doctrinal

doctrinally \-nᵊl-ē \ adverb

Examples of doctrinal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If all believers are priests, charged with working out their own salvation, then doctrinal divisions will necessarily proliferate. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "What’s Next for Evangelicalism?," 7 June 2018 At one Colorado colony, a dozen children died from malnutrition in 1906, and other start-ups since then have been plagued with doctrinal disputes. Sam Kestenbaum, New York Times, "A Forgotten Religion Gets a Second Chance in Brooklyn," 7 June 2018 Yet, even with the socialists’ doctrinal commitment, the party’s actual record of fighting for women’s equality and inclusion was lacking. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 The pope’s decision came in a letter dated May 25 from Archbishop Luis Ladaria, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops’ conference. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican Blocks German Plan to Expand Communion," 4 June 2018 The Second Amendment still faces foundational uncertainties with regard to a wide range of doctrinal and theoretical questions — far more so than the First Amendment, which has generated a century’s worth of case law and scholarship. Joseph Blocher And Eric Ruben, Vox, "The Second Amendment allows for more gun control than you think," 14 June 2018 Patterson’s conduct has incited a major doctrinal debate. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "The Religious Right’s #MeToo Reckoning Is Coming," 30 May 2018 Other cardinal red hats will go to the head of the Vatican office on doctrinal orthodoxy and another top Holy See official, and prelates in Osaka, Japan, and L'Aquila, Italy, which is still trying to rebuild after a 2009 earthquake. Fox News, "Pope Francis to create 14 new cardinals in June," 20 May 2018 The only appointments that could be considered routine were those of Archbishop Luis Ladaria, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, and Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, who as vicar of Rome leads the diocese in the name of the pope. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Francis Continues to Boost Diversity in College of Cardinals," 20 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of doctrinal

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doctrinal

Statistics for doctrinal

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doctrinal

The first known use of doctrinal was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on doctrinal

See words that rhyme with doctrinal

Britannica English: Translation of doctrinal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on doctrinal

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!