dog·​ma | \ ˈdȯg-mə How to pronounce dogma (audio) , ˈdäg- \
plural dogmas also dogmata\ ˈdȯg-​mə-​tə How to pronounce dogma (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 Both trends are born more of political pragmatism than dogma. Adam Rasgon,, "In Israeli election, a chance for Arabs to gain influence — or lose it," 22 Feb. 2021 Both trends are born more of political pragmatism than dogma. New York Times, "In Israeli Election, a Chance for Arabs to Gain Influence, or Lose It," 21 Feb. 2021 Today’s version of this apocalyptic dogma connects disparate extremist groups, from militias like the Oath Keepers, who see themselves as the last defense, to accelerationist groups like the Boogaloo, who want to bring on the end themselves. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "QAnon and the Cultification of the American Right," 1 Feb. 2021 As if somehow people were free to oppose that dogma and norms of the time. . . . Washington Post, "Irish leader apologizes for cruelty to unwed mothers and babies at homes run by the state and Catholic Church," 13 Jan. 2021 The stage, where dogma goes to die, isn’t meant to reinforce confirmation bias. Los Angeles Times, "My dream for theater: Toss the old business model in the dumpster fire of 2020," 21 Dec. 2020 That’s David Hope of the London School of Economics who co-authored new research that takes a big swipe at the dogma of trickle-down economics. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "The markets are betting a stimulus deal will finally get done—and soon," 16 Dec. 2020 Here, Rayner echoes the universal dogma of restaurant criticism that bad food makes for better copy than good. Theodore Gioia, The New Republic, "Death to the Negative Restaurant Review," 16 Dec. 2020 Gun populism, meanwhile, aligns with the pro-gun dogma that lawful gun owners carrying in public make America safer either by providing quick responses to threats when police aren’t present or by deterring crime in the first place. Alex Yablon, The New Republic, "Why Police Back Gun Guys," 20 Nov. 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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Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dogma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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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