doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən \

Definition of doctrine

1 archaic : teaching, instruction
2a : something that is taught
b : a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma Catholic doctrine
c law : a principle of law established through past decisions
d : a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations the Truman Doctrine
e : a military principle or set of strategies

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Synonyms for doctrine

Synonyms

canon, dogma

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Did You Know?

The original doctrines were those of the Catholic Church, especially as taught by the so-called doctors (religious scholars) of the Church. But today a doctrine can come from many other sources. Old and established legal principles are called legal doctrine. Traditional psychiatrists still follow the doctrines of Sigmund Freud. Communist doctrine in the 1920s and ʼ30s was often the teachings of Lenin, which were then regarded in the Soviet Union as almost sacred. U.S. presidents have given their names to doctrines as well: In 1823 the Monroe Doctrine stated that the United States would oppose European influence in the Americas, and in 1947 the Truman Doctrine held that America would support free countries against enemies outside and inside.

Examples of doctrine in a Sentence

The government was founded on a doctrine of equality for all people. Many psychologists now question the doctrines of Sigmund Freud. teaching religious doctrine to young people
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Recent Examples on the Web

Under the severability doctrine, courts ask three main questions. WSJ, "Texas’ ObamaCare Strikedown Should Stand," 21 Dec. 2018 He's lionized for advocating a heliocentric view of our solar system, spurning Church doctrine and becoming a heretic. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 The doctrine's concept is that warrants are not required to conduct a search at the border in the name of national sovereignty. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Cheese danish shipping, warrantless GPS trackers, and a border doctrine challenge," 2 Sep. 2018 So the only way real change is going to come about, even if the doctrine isn’t going to change, is just creating a safer culture. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds Is On a New Kind of Mission for the Mormon Church," 12 July 2018 Federal courts typically rely on what’s known as the Chevron doctrine—named for a 1984 Supreme Court case involving the oil company—to determine whether an agency’s rule or regulation conforms to laws passed by Congress. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Watershed Moment in American History," 10 July 2018 To today’s up-and-comers, that mindset is the doctrine, established by the Golden State’s string of playoff runs and titles. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The NBA’s New Age Is on Full Display," 3 May 2018 But the fighting-words doctrine has fallen out of favor with the courts. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus," 23 May 2016 Many of them admire the jurisprudence of Justice Clarence Thomas, who has called for the demolition of a series of bedrock constitutional doctrines from the last 70 years. latimes.com, "How Trump could do the least damage with his Supreme Court pick," 7 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of doctrine

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for doctrine

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin doctrina, from doctor

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Statistics for doctrine

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for doctrine

The first known use of doctrine was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for doctrine

doctrine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of doctrine

: a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true

: a statement of government policy especially in international relations

doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən \

Kids Definition of doctrine

: something (as a rule or principle) that is taught, believed in, or considered to be true

doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən \

Legal Definition of doctrine

: a principle established through judicial decisions — compare law, precedent

Other Words from doctrine

doctrinal \ -​trə-​nəl \ adjective

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