doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \

Definition of doctrine

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

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Synonyms for doctrine

Synonyms

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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 Its transparent purpose is to insulate Islamic doctrine from critical examination, notwithstanding that fundamentalists unabashedly exploit scripture to justify and promote terrorism. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "It’s a Straight Line from Biden to BLM," 5 Sep. 2020 The Pentagon also flagged U.S. concerns about China’s nuclear doctrine. Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg.com, "Pentagon Warns China Is Nearing a Milestone in Nuclear Weapons Buildup," 1 Sep. 2020 The doctrine has been discussed a lot recently as the reason police officers are rarely held liable for shooting people in the line of duty. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "17-year-old suspect in Kenosha shootings was too young to open carry in Wisconsin, might still raise self-defense," 26 Aug. 2020 In the 2019 case Gundy v. United States, a dissenting opinion penned by Justice Gorsuch and joined by three other conservative justices argued openly for reviving the non-delegation doctrine. Christopher J. Sprigman, The New Republic, "A Constitutional Weapon for Biden to Vanquish Trump’s Army of Judges," 20 Aug. 2020 Decades later in Witebsky’s laboratory in Buffalo, Dr. Rose became a third-generation scientific descendant of Ehrlich, and the first to challenge his prevailing idea, which had hardened into doctrine. Matt Schudel, BostonGlobe.com, "Noel R. Rose, scientist who advanced study of autoimmune diseases, dies at 92," 10 Aug. 2020 Decades later in Witebksy’s laboratory in Buffalo, Dr. Rose became a third-generation scientific descendant of Ehrich, and the first to challenge his prevailing idea, which had hardened into doctrine. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Noel R. Rose, scientist who advanced study of autoimmune diseases, dies at 92," 9 Aug. 2020 But the doctrine does not apply to a non-law enforcement person using deadly force. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "17-year-old suspect in Kenosha shootings was too young to open carry in Wisconsin, might still raise self-defense," 26 Aug. 2020 This doctrine, called parens patriae—parent of the country—was established in the American legal system via an 1839 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. Stephanie Clifford, The Atlantic, "When the Misdiagnosis Is Child Abuse," 20 Aug. 2020

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 2

History and Etymology for doctrine

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

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Time Traveler for doctrine

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

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doctrine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doctrine. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for doctrine

doctrine

noun
How to pronounce doctrine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of doctrine

: a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true
US : a statement of government policy especially in international relations

doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \

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 How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \

Legal Definition of doctrine

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

Other Words from doctrine

doctrinal \ -​trə-​nəl How to pronounce doctrinal (audio) \ adjective

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