dog·​ma ˈdȯg-mə How to pronounce dogma (audio)
plural dogmas also dogmata ˈdȯg-mə-tə How to pronounce dogma (audio)
: something held as an established opinion
especially : a definite authoritative tenet
: a code of such tenets
pedagogical dogma
: a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds
: a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web How can anything but dogma survive in such a forum? Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Photo: rhona wise/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Freedom of thought appears to be returning to campus in Arizona as the state’s large university system sets a course for academic vitality over leftist dogma. James Freeman, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2023 Most parents don’t want progressive dogma force-fed to their children in school. Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Review, 1 June 2023 Her dogma is: The bigger your fabulous gets, the less room there is for hate and hostility. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 29 June 2023 The result was an institutional rift that inspired an unfortunate dogma: lifters didn’t run, and aerobic athletes didn’t lift. Men's Health, 29 June 2023 But would her students, turned on everywhere by the dogma of political correctness, misapprehend Haynes’s aim? Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 22 June 2023 Even now the reactionary forces of faith continue to resist ideas that contradict their dogmas. Julian Baggini, WSJ, 2 June 2023 Van Gogh had to get away from Seurat’s and Signac’s dogma not just to find his own voice but also to liberate color from the clutches of pseudoscience. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 1 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dogma.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of dogma was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near dogma

Cite this Entry

“Dogma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


dog·​ma ˈdȯg-mə How to pronounce dogma (audio)
plural dogmas also dogmata -mət-ə How to pronounce dogma (audio)
: something considered as an established opinion
: a belief or body of beliefs concerning faith or morals laid down by a church

More from Merriam-Webster on dogma

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!