indoctrinate

verb
in·​doc·​tri·​nate | \ in-ˈdäk-trə-ˌnāt How to pronounce indoctrinate (audio) \
indoctrinated; indoctrinating

Definition of indoctrinate

transitive verb

1 : to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle
2 : to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments : teach

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Other Words from indoctrinate

indoctrination \ (ˌ)in-​ˌdäk-​trə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce indoctrinate (audio) \ noun
indoctrinator \ in-​ˈdäk-​trə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce indoctrinate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for indoctrinate

Synonyms

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Did You Know?

Indoctrinate simply means "brainwash" to many people. But its meaning isn't always so negative. When this verb first appeared in English in the 17th century, it simply meant "to teach"-a meaning that followed logically from its Latin root. The "doc" in the middle of indoctrinate derives from the Latin verb docēre, which also means "to teach." Other offspring of "docēre" include "docent" (referring to a college professor or a museum guide), "docile," "doctor," "doctrine," and "document." It was not until the 19th century that "indoctrinate" began to see regular use in the sense of causing someone to absorb and take on certain opinions or principles.

Examples of indoctrinate in a Sentence

The goal should be to teach politics, rather than to indoctrinate students in a narrow set of political beliefs. indoctrinated children in proper safety procedures
Recent Examples on the Web Don’t be surprised if Edwards starts the season on the bench, especially since the Wolves haven’t been able to indoctrinate him into their systems over the course of a normal offseason. Chris Hine, Star Tribune, "Wolves prepare to open camp, take court for first time in nine months," 6 Dec. 2020 My husband says it’s only one time and will not be enough time to indoctrinate our children. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Amy: Cull those diaries of the ‘icky bits’," 25 Oct. 2020 My husband says it’s only one time and will not be enough time to indoctrinate our children. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Cull those diaries of the ‘icky bits’," 25 Oct. 2020 My husband says it’s only one time and will not be enough time to indoctrinate our children. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Avid diarist worries deepest thoughts, secrets could fall into wrong hands," 25 Oct. 2020 Unless California tears up the curriculum and goes back to the drawing board, the course would indoctrinate and divide. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Hope for California’s Schools," 1 Oct. 2020 Brady was an assistant with the Saints in 2018 when New Orleans acquired Bridgewater from the Jets and helped indoctrinate him into the system. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "10 fantasy football free agents to add at the last minute for Week 1," 8 Sep. 2020 The elder Hughes was keen to indoctrinate his boys into his passion, says Bob Ponder, Mike’s uncle. David Howard, Popular Mechanics, ""Mad Mike" Hughes Rejected Science and Chased Fame. It Killed Him.," 30 Aug. 2020 Under Xi, the Xinjiang government expanded efforts to cajole, pressure, or force Uighurs to return from abroad, and also established the internment camps intended to indoctrinate Uighurs to turn away from religion and embrace Chinese rule. Marlise Simons, BostonGlobe.com, "Uighur exiles push for court case accusing China of genocide," 6 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indoctrinate.' 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 indoctrinate

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for indoctrinate

probably from Middle English endoctrinen, from Anglo-French endoctriner, from en- + doctrine doctrine

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Time Traveler for indoctrinate

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The first known use of indoctrinate was in 1626

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Last Updated

16 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indoctrinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indoctrinate. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for indoctrinate

indoctrinate

verb
How to pronounce indoctrinate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of indoctrinate

disapproving : to teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs

indoctrinate

verb
in·​doc·​tri·​nate | \ in-ˈdäk-trə-ˌnāt How to pronounce indoctrinate (audio) \
indoctrinated; indoctrinating

Kids Definition of indoctrinate

: to teach especially the ideas, opinions, or beliefs of a certain group

More from Merriam-Webster on indoctrinate

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Nglish: Translation of indoctrinate for Spanish Speakers

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