dog·​ma | \ˈdȯg-mə, ˈdäg-\
plural dogmas also dogmata\ -​mə-​tə \

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

The party that produced Britain’s first Jewish and female prime ministers puts the disciplined exercise of power above mere dogma. The Economist, "The Conservative Party has trashed the basic principles of conservatism," 12 July 2018 For right-wing legal scholars, this makes Roe a point of dogma. Jill Filipovic, Time, "It's Naive to Think a Conservative Supreme Court Wouldn't Target Roe v. Wade," 12 July 2018 The Bush and Trump administrations alike have exposed the bankruptcy of conservative-movement dogma as a practical governing blueprint. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Chuck Schumer Is Secretly Sabotaging the Next Democratic President," 28 June 2018 Despite decades of ultraconservative dogma, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed through a number of major social reforms with support from his father, King Salman, to satiate the desires of the country's majority young population. Aya Batrawy, Fox News, "First Saudi cinema opens with popcorn and 'Black Panther'," 19 Apr. 2018 Enlightenment overconfidence has gone badly wrong often enough to warrant serious doubts about claims made in the name of reason—just as doubt is valuable in approaching other systems of dogma. Yoram Hazony, WSJ, "The Dark Side of the Enlightenment," 6 Apr. 2018 Trump briefly strayed from gun-rights dogma after the Parkland shooting, but quickly backpedaled. Jonathan Lemire,, "Trump meets with families affected by Texas school shooting," 31 May 2018 The volunteers seem less focused on ideology than the Tea Party, which hammered out a clear dogma of smaller government, galvanizing voters and leading to a makeover of the party and, eventually, the federal government. New York Times, "These Women Mostly Ignored Politics. Now, Activism Is Their Job.," 10 May 2018 His amiable act doesn’t question religious dogma with any persistence or engage with doubters. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "What’s So Funny About Orthodox Judaism? This Comic Has One Answer," 13 June 2018

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

30 Sep 2018

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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

: 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 \

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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by force of circumstances

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