dog·​ma | \ ˈdȯg-mə How to pronounce dogma (audio) , ˈdäg-\
plural dogmas also dogmata\ ˈdȯg-​mə-​tə How to pronounce dogmata (audio) , ˈdäg-​ \

Definition of dogma

1a : something held as an established opinion especially : a definite authoritative tenet
b : a code of such tenets pedagogical dogma
c : a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds
2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

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Synonyms for dogma


canon, doctrine

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Did You Know?

Religious dogma and scientific dogma are sometimes at odds, as in arguments between those who believe in the biblical story of creation and those who believe in evolution. Since all dogma resists change, arguments of any kind are harder to resolve when both sides are dogmatic in their beliefs. Dogma and dogmatic are generally used disapprovingly; it's always other people who believe unquestioningly in dogma and who take a dogmatic approach to important issues.

Examples of dogma in a Sentence

The Saudi regime has tried to deflect questions about its management of the country … by supporting and spreading an uncompromising religious dogma. — Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, 1 Oct. 2001 He was known for his ability to burst the bubble of generally accepted dogma, to puncture it with data and detached observations. — Sherwin B. Nuland, New Republic, 19 Feb. 2001 It had long been biological dogma that whales were scarce in the open ocean, but the Navy was picking up whale songs thousands of miles from land. — Sharon Begley et al., Newsweek, 31 Jan. 2000 For in creating a cultural orthodoxy designed to combat racism, urban disorder, and a legacy of oppression, we subject ourselves to delusional dogma, the tyranny of conformity … — Gerald Early, Harper's, January 1997 These new findings challenge the current dogma in the field. the Catholic dogma of the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary
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Recent Examples on the Web

Then, as now, this was no mean feat; after all, previous bishops of Rome had rarely been as infallible as later dogma insisted. The Economist, "The most scandalous popes in history," 29 June 2019 How Change Happens seems impressive less as a monument to thinking than as a demonstration of non-thought, and as a lesson in the power of neoliberal dogma to imprison some of this country’s most influential minds. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "The Sameness of Cass Sunstein," 20 June 2019 For me a good leader leads by example, rather than by dogma. Mahershala Ali, WSJ, "Marissa Mayer, Mahershala Ali and More on Leadership," 29 Oct. 2018 Then last year, three surprising new studies challenged that dogma. NBC News, "Millions should stop taking aspirin for heart health, study says," 22 July 2019 Then last year, three surprising new studies challenged that dogma., "Study: Millions should stop taking aspirin for heart health," 22 July 2019 Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Steve Jobs: Text of his 2005 Stanford University commencement speech," 16 June 2019 The upshot of this dogma is that our economy would be less productive and less efficient in transforming resources into the goods and services necessary to meet people’s needs and wants. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: New gas taxes are needed; here’s why," 14 July 2019 Perot, however, broke through by arguing that our two-party system was broken and the only remedy was a rejection of partisan dogma. Gilbert Garcia,, "Bitter medicine of Perot’s 1992 campaign wouldn’t sell today," 10 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dogma.' 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 dogma

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dogma

Latin dogmat-, dogma, from Greek, from dokein to seem — more at decent

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Dictionary Entries near dogma

dog lily

dog louse






Statistics for dogma

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dogma

The first known use of dogma was in 1534

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More Definitions for dogma



English Language Learners Definition of dogma

usually disapproving : a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted
: a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organization


dog·​ma | \ ˈdȯg-mə How to pronounce dogma (audio) \

Kids Definition of dogma

1 : something firmly believed She repeated medical dogma against eating sugar.
2 : a belief or set of beliefs taught by a church

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Britannica English: Translation of dogma for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dogma

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


concealment of treason or felony

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