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 At that time, scientific dogma held that the brain was the only organ in the body not ruled by the immune system. Donna Jackson Nakazawa, STAT, "Microglia: a new target in the brain for depression, Alzheimer’s, and more?," 17 Jan. 2020 To be certain, Francis is the pope and is the one with the power to promulgate dogma. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Two Popes, and One Big Furor After Benedict Weighs in on Priestly Celibacy," 13 Jan. 2020 Ratzinger was a Catholic academic for decades, teaching dogma and theology, writing theological tracts and serving as an expert assistant at the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s. Time, "The True Story Behind the Movie The Two Popes," 20 Dec. 2019 Common Ground What's incomplete in me seeks refuge in blackberry bramble and beech trees, where creatures live without dogmaand water moves in patterns more ancient than philosophy. Laura Demarco, cleveland, "Ohio names Poet of the Year for 2019," 8 Dec. 2019 Despite Christian dogma to the contrary, victims and perpetrators shouldn’t necessarily reconcile, or be encouraged to. Washington Post, "‘I don’t know about normal love’: A church leader’s abuse and a woman’s years-long struggle," 25 Oct. 2019 And toward truth, instead of false gods and clanging dogma. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Douglas Murray’s The Madness of Crowds Offers Sanity and Hope," 24 Oct. 2019 To show that Christian dogma caused this shift, the authors match historical data on the spread of religion with modern indicators. The Economist, "Medieval Catholicism nudged Europe towards democracy and development," 23 Nov. 2019 Francis’ emphasis on mercy and charity has also raised the hackles of a small, but noisy faction among the more conservative ranks of bishops and cardinals, who would rather the head of the Catholic church concentrate more on dogma than on persons. Frances D'emilio, Twin Cities, "Pope decries that ‘greed of a few’ worsens poverty of others," 17 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for dogma

Time Traveler

The first known use of dogma was in 1534

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Statistics for dogma

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dogma.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 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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Comments on dogma

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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