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

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In 1826, a group of parishioners—featuring Thoreau’s aunts Elizabeth, Jane, and Maria—split off with a group of others to establish the more conservative, orthodox Trinitarian Congregational Church. Sarah Blackwood, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 But the idea that these New England sites were ancient remnant forest flew in the face of orthodox thinking. Jonny Diamond, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Jan. 2022 For many years, he was considered a more orthodox communist than his brother. Star Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021 Highlights of the collection include a Madonna owned by the Medici family, and the Menologio -- a calendar of orthodox festivals, divided into over 100 individual scenes painted in microscopic detail. Julia Buckley, CNN, 1 Jan. 2022 While many companies had their pandemic pivots, the Steere family’s perhaps wasn’t the most orthodox. Kate Dingwall, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 All this demonstrates that the mainstream, orthodox position on growth and economic health is a sham. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 16 Nov. 2021 His campaign website, which still exists, highlighted both his previous work on disability, and framed orthodox conservative policy ideas, such as school choice, as helpful for disabled children. Eric Garcia, The New Republic, 5 Dec. 2021 Less orthodox, but more influential in the long run, is the notion of projection. Adam Kuper, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just as pragmatic liberals pursue piecemeal reforms and orthodox Marxists hold out for the proletarian revolution, the lodestar of the PowerPoint left is ideological realignment. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 12 July 2018 The once ultra-orthodox are loosening their ideologies, facilitated by Facebook groups, podcasts, websites, and meet-ups. Sarah Scoles, Longreads, 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, 2 May 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.

See More

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

Learn More About orthodox

Time Traveler for orthodox

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near orthodox




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for orthodox

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Orthodox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthodox. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for orthodox



English Language Learners Definition of orthodox

: accepted as true or correct by most people : supporting or believing what most people think is true : conventional
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on orthodox

Nglish: Translation of orthodox for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orthodox for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orthodox


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!