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


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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 For the most part, Chernow and Miranda hewed to the accepted dogma that Hamilton was an abolitionist and only reluctantly participated in the sale of humans as a legal go-between for relatives and friends. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Research Suggests Alexander Hamilton Was a Slave Owner," 10 Nov. 2020 To a cynical British ear, Macron has not rethought anything, but simply restated the Gaullist dogma that France must be seen to strain on the leash of American power without ever actually leaving the kennel. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "Joe Biden Won’t Fix America’s Relationship With the World," 8 Nov. 2020 That view and label cemented the displacement of the disorder from the realm of neurology to that of psychiatry and became the dogma for much of the 20th century. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Decoding a Disorder at the Interface of Mind and Brain," 1 Nov. 2020 And while the rise of political Islam is particular to the Middle East, Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court brings into focus questions about the changing role of religion and dogma in American public life. Kim Ghattas, The Atlantic, "Lessons From a Place Where the Center Ground is Gone," 1 Nov. 2020 Gibbs finds in the mechanization of the arts a similarly misguided effort to bring the dogma of efficiency to matters of the spirit, resulting in a cannibalization of ends by means. Christopher Beha, Harper's Magazine, "Because God Did Not Relax," 27 Oct. 2020 This economic equivalent of herd immunity is a dogma which will cause businesses, jobs and lives to destruct. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Should spending more now to help the economy be more of a priority than the deficit?," 23 Oct. 2020 Beyond the question of white supremacist dogma, protesters said, there are good reasons to oppose the creation of a hub that could draw crowds from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. John Reinan, Star Tribune, "Minnesota town council will vote on white heritage religious group's church plan," 14 Oct. 2020 Roman Catholicism may have a pope who has the ex cathedra power, used rarely, to state that a particular dogma is absolutely and essentially at the core of the faith. Patrick T. Reardon, Star Tribune, "What does it mean to be a 'good Catholic'?," 1 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for dogma

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The first known use of dogma was in 1534

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Statistics for dogma

Last Updated

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dogma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for dogma


How to pronounce dogma (audio)

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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