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 News footage from the scene also showed that first responders included Hatzalah paramedics, who serve the orthodox Jewish community. NBC News, "New Jersey officers wounded in shootout, one in critical condition," 10 Dec. 2019 What is the significance of these holy days for orthodox Jews, secular Jews and perhaps even for non-Jews? The Conversation, oregonlive, "Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, embody renewal, repentance," 28 Sep. 2019 Gantz could conceivably try to bring the ultra-orthodox parties into an agreement, but that seems exceedingly unlikely for a number of reasons. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political Chaos," 20 Sep. 2019 Outside Satmar Shul orthodox synagogue in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Wednesday, thousands of people mourned Mr. Deutsch, transforming the block into a sea of black hats. James Barron, New York Times, "Jersey City Shooting: Suspect in Attack Wrote Anti-Semitic Posts," 11 Dec. 2019 His interest in taking on social issues stemmed from his growing up in an immigrant family that was orthodox Jewish. Caitlin Anderson, Twin Cities, "Longtime UMN professor Mischa Penn, who helped start African American Studies, dies at 89," 7 Dec. 2019 This is the prism through which relations are viewed and where our subconscious (or conscious?) surprise at a Hijab-wearing woman defending an orthodox Jewish family on the London Underground comes from. Massoud Shadjareh, Time, "A Muslim Woman Went Viral for Confronting Anti-Semitism on the London Underground. Her Actions Hold a Lesson for Us All," 26 Nov. 2019 Voters may have rewarded Mr Trump for ditching orthodox but unpopular conservative talking points. The Economist, "Why a left-wing nominee would hurt Democrats," 21 Nov. 2019 He is also jangled by the sudden presence of his elderly mother, an orthodox nun (scene-stealer Jane Lapotaire) once known as Princess Alice of Battenberg, who found solace from mental illness and emotional demons by devoting her life to charity. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘The Crown’ is back with midlife crises, heavy heads and sterling performances," 14 Nov. 2019 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

29 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Orthodox.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthodox. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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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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