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

Essential Meaning of dogma

1 usually disapproving : a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted These new findings challenge the current dogma in the field. political dogma
2 : a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organization

Full 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

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 All that feeds the dogma of inevitability, which makes machine learning seem forever entrenched, too complex to understand much less regulate, too powerful to refuse. Kc Cole, Wired, 22 Dec. 2021 The environment is not yoked to the dogma of the physical world, and virtual churches attract exceptionally diverse crowds—in exceptionally diverse garb—from across faiths and around the globe. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 22 Dec. 2021 That childhood left me with little dogma on what has to be served on this day. Christian Reynoso, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Nov. 2021 At least since the anti-communism of the postwar era, conservatives have accused public schools of indoctrinating children with left-wing dogma. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 14 July 2021 In fact, followers of cults and authoritarian dogma who begin to doubt the truth of their convictions may initially dig their heels in. Ruth Ben-ghiat, CNN, 22 Nov. 2021 How to explain the Democrats’ sudden switch from free-trade dogma to free-trade restrictions? John R. Macarthur, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 So goes the central dogma that has ruled neuroscience since the early ’90s. Megan Molteni, STAT, 5 Nov. 2021 The pragmatic founders of the Society had originally joined forces with Hannibal’s heterodox community of Spiritualists, who shunned Christian dogma but still believed in an afterlife. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2021

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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Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dogma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for dogma


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

More from Merriam-Webster on dogma

Nglish: Translation of dogma for Spanish Speakers

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


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