or·​tho·​dox | \ ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks How to pronounce orthodox (audio) \

Definition of orthodox

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : conforming to established doctrine especially in religion orthodox principles the orthodox interpretation
b : conventional took an orthodox approach to the problem orthodox medicine
2 capitalized : of, relating to, or constituting any of various conservative religious or political groups: such as
a : eastern orthodox Greek Orthodox rituals
b : of, relating to, or practicing Orthodox Judaism The core market for these vinifera wines remains Orthodox Jews who require kosher foods for religious ceremonies.— Thomas Matthews


plural orthodox also orthodoxes

Definition of orthodox (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that is orthodox
2 capitalized : a member of an Eastern Orthodox church

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Other Words from orthodox


orthodoxly adverb

Did You Know?

An orthodox religious belief or interpretation is one handed down by a church's founders or leaders. When capitalized, as in Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox refers to a branch within a larger religious organization that claims to honor the religion's original or traditional beliefs. The steadfast holding of established beliefs that is seen in religious orthodoxy is apparent also in other kinds of orthodox behavior. Orthodox medical treatment, for example, follows the established practices of mainstream medicine. Unorthodox thinking is known in business language as "thinking outside the box".

Examples of orthodox in a Sentence

Adjective He took an orthodox approach to the problem. She believes in the benefits of both orthodox medicine and alternative medicine. He is a very orthodox Muslim. I attend an Eastern Orthodox church. My grandmother is Russian Orthodox.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An orthodox Protestant, Adams was captivated by the spirituality of Gothic architecture and music as well as the power of the Virgin Mary to inspire such magnificence. Diane Scharper, Washington Examiner, "Who was Henry Adams?," 31 Dec. 2020 The school was founded in 2010 by Dr. Frank Papatheofanis, a physician and scientist who taught at UC San Diego and wanted to create a less orthodox educational experience with an affiliation to the Orthodox Christian church. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs host the road warriors from tiny Saint Katherine," 2 Dec. 2020 Since Chinese leader Xi Jinping took power in late 2012, the country's colleges and universities have faced rising pressure to reign in speeches and activities not in line with the ruling Communist Party's orthodox view. Steven Jiang, CNN, "Uproar over Thanksgiving candies as Chinese university says it does not promote 'Western holidays with religious connotations'," 27 Nov. 2020 Ethiopia’s Islamic and orthodox clergy along with other Christian denominations and traditional faiths have also been called on to contribute to the peaceful resolution of tensions between the regions and the federal government. Yohannes Gedamu, Quartz Africa, "The politics of power and ethnic federalism has boiled over into conflict in Ethiopia," 19 Nov. 2020 Despite his occasional heterodox leanings, Trump is incredibly lazy and has staffed his administration mostly with orthodox conservative ideologues. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Trump is wrecking the government on his way out," 19 Nov. 2020 With investors bracing for a return to a more orthodox, market-friendly approach, a disappointing outcome could send the lira reeling again. Netty Idayu Ismail, Bloomberg.com, "Emerging Markets Defy Risks With Turkey Taking Center Stage," 15 Nov. 2020 The lira rallied by the most on a closing basis in two years after Turkey’s finance minister quit a day after the central bank governor was fired, signaling a potential return to orthodox monetary and fiscal policies. Ercan Ersoy, Bloomberg.com, "Billionaire Seizes Brief Lira Rally to Sell Turkcell Stake," 10 Nov. 2020 There is hope in Turkey and elsewhere that the departures of Mr Albayrak and Mr Uysal may signal a return to more orthodox financial and monetary policy, which could shield the lira from further pressure and the fallout from the American elections. The Economist, "Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s finance minister—and son-in-law—quits," 9 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is true for the left and the right: The trans community can get ads addressing their concerns just as easily as the religiously orthodox can addressing theirs. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Targeted ads praised for ‘diversity’ are compared to ‘dumping sewage’ by FEC Democrat," 10 Jan. 2020 That had the effect of enforcing a very bland neutrality in radio and television, one that really favored well-established, orthodox, left-of-center views and conservatives hated that. Andrew Marino, The Verge, "Podcast: What’s wrong with Congress’ tech policy conversation?," 13 Aug. 2019 The decision was seen by many as supportive of central-bank autonomy while bringing an orthodox although sometimes critical voice to the bank’s policy-setting board. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Bank of Mexico Chief Stresses Shared Responsibility in Economic Stability," 8 Oct. 2018 Also in the region Mr. Heath, who specializes in econometrics and monetary policy, is widely seen as an orthodox economist. Juan Montes, WSJ, "López Obrador to Name Independent Economist to Mexico Central Bank," 26 Sep. 2018 Just imagine: an encased farce of brined and smoked brisket dragged through the garden of the orthodox Chicago condiments. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "At 3 Squares Diner there’s a dog that won’t bark," 12 July 2018 The once ultra-orthodox are loosening their ideologies, facilitated by Facebook groups, podcasts, websites, and meet-ups. Sarah Scoles, Longreads, "Meet the New Mormons," 8 June 2018 The fascinating modern historic events there now were instigated by an unorthodox president who may be about to accomplish what orthodox leaders never could. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump’s Korea initiative is risky and unprecedented," 2 May 2018 The closest synagogue at the time was a conservative synagogue on Third Avenue and McDowell Road, a long walk for orthodox worshipers who did not drive on the Sabbath. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Founding family of Phoenix synagogue saved 1,500 people during the Holocaust," 12 Apr. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for orthodox

Adjective and Noun

Middle English orthodoxe, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French orthodoxe, from Late Latin orthodoxus, from Late Greek orthodoxos, from Greek orth- + doxa opinion — more at doxology

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Time Traveler for orthodox

Time Traveler

The first known use of orthodox was in the 15th century

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Statistics for orthodox

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Orthodox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthodox. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for orthodox


How to pronounce orthodox (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of orthodox

: accepted as true or correct by most people : supporting or believing what most people think is true
: accepting and closely following the traditional beliefs and customs of a religion
: of or relating to the Orthodox Church


or·​tho·​dox | \ ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks How to pronounce orthodox (audio) \

Kids Definition of orthodox

1 : approved as measuring up to some standard : conventional orthodox medicine
2 : closely following the established beliefs of a religion

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