her·​me·​neu·​tic ˌhər-mə-ˈnü-tik How to pronounce hermeneutic (audio)
hermeneutics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)
: a method or principle of interpretation
a philosophical hermeneutic

Examples of hermeneutic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Likewise, reading old C code feels like engaging in the hermeneutics of ancient script, while Coq demands the exactitude of proving mathematical theorems. Sheon Han, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 Alderman’s encyclopedic knowledge of everything from cryptographic history to biblical hermeneutics lends the novel a savvy, scholarly gravitas. Ian Wang, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 This is a position derived from the hermeneutics of Charles Taylor and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Rachel Cusk, Harper's Magazine, 9 Sep. 2023 Instead of performing original research, these would-be scientists now practice the art of hermeneutics. Meghan O'Gieblyn, WIRED, 26 Feb. 2023 If Pope Francis can toss away the hermeneutic of continuity, on what basis can defenders of this pontificate oblige me to remain faithful to it? Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 15 Sep. 2021 The vast majority of priests who took up Benedict’s permission in 2007 also say the new Mass; no clearer demonstration can be made of their commitment to Benedict’s idea of the hermeneutic of continuity. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 15 Sep. 2021 Far from autofiction, their novels are as varied as their poems, with suspenseful plots and untrustworthy characters and an understanding that drama arises from bad hermeneutics—that is, misreading people. Ange Mlinko, The New York Review of Books, 10 Mar. 2020 For Brookhiser, part of what killed the old order was modernism—meaning characters like Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche, the instigators of what the French philosopher Paul Ricœur called the hermeneutics of suspicion. Doug Henwood, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019

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

Word History


see hermeneutical

First Known Use

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hermeneutic was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near hermeneutic

Cite this Entry

“Hermeneutic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hermeneutic. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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