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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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 Over the course of the Trump presidency, though, the organization foundered in its efforts to indoctrinate the most left-leaning generation of young people in history, and Kirk rebranded as a kind of under-thirties ambassador for Trump himself. Jake Bittle, The New Republic, 23 Sep. 2021 Entrepreneurs can indoctrinate reward schemes for employee climate change programs. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 Numerous parents approached the podium during the public comment session, condemning the teacher, the board, and the idea of trying to indoctrinate high school students with far-left ideology. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 3 Sep. 2021 Their aim was to indoctrinate Muslim youth with an austere, rigid, and pristine vision of Islam. Sohel Rana, Quartz, 26 Aug. 2021 Helen Rice, another board member, said the goal was not to divide people by race, but encourage teachers to give students facts and not indoctrinate them. NBC News, 4 June 2021 Helen Rice, another board member, said the goal was not to divide people by race, but encourage teachers to give students facts and not indoctrinate them. NBC News, 4 June 2021 This allows their leaders to indoctrinate them into a belief system free of evidence. Star Tribune, 22 June 2021 Helen Rice, another board member, said the goal was not to divide people by race, but encourage teachers to give students facts and not indoctrinate them. NBC News, 4 June 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near indoctrinate

indocile

indoctrinate

indoctrine

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indoctrinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indoctrinate. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for indoctrinate

indoctrinate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of indoctrinate

: 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

Nglish: Translation of indoctrinate for Spanish Speakers

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