or·tho·dox | \ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks \

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 or relating to Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Jews in their black suits and hats and modest dresses


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


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

Neither does Einstein spare members of his own ethnic group — in this case ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem — from his insensitive comments. Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Time, "The Real Lesson of the Racial Slurs in Albert Einstein’s Private Travel Diaries," 19 June 2018 At a breakfast forum on Thursday at the New Albany Country Club, with its high ceilings and portraiture of dogs and horses, the candidates engaged in civil debate and essentially staked out orthodox positions of their parties. Michael Tackett, New York Times, "Door-Knocking Democrat Tries to Break G.O.P. Grip in Ohio Special Election," 13 July 2018 The Hoosiers have also been in touch with more orthodox transfers as well, players who would need to sit a year before regaining eligibility. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Why a graduate transfer makes sense for Archie Miller, IU basketball," 28 Mar. 2018 The exterior is a multicultural monument, expressing cultural diversity instead of concealing it beneath a cloak of orthodox neoclassicism or modernism. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "The national African-American museum still stirs the soul — and drops hints of what to expect at the Obama Presidential Center," 11 July 2018 An orthodox Catholic judge’s views about material cooperation with evil might therefore play no role in his or her decision. Mark Tushnet, Vox, "Is it anti-Catholic to ask a Supreme Court nominee how her religion affects her decisions?," 5 July 2018 The father of five was summoned to a meeting with leaders of his ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish sect in Kiryas Joel, N.Y., a village of some 22,000 about 50 miles north of New York City. Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News, Fox News, "Hasidic leaders sharply limit members' web, smartphone use: 'It's like we're in North Korea’," 12 June 2018 According to a Johns Hopkins poll, 62 percent of Venezuelans support a dollarized economy (a remedy Falcón has proposed) and 59 percent support installing an orthodox currency board. Stephen Kaplan, Washington Post, "Will Sunday’s elections bring economic relief and reform to Venezuela?," 17 May 2018 The writer and biophysicist Luca Turin takes issue with the orthodox position (namely that the shape of molecules dictates their effect on nasal receptors) and believes that vibrational qualities of particles determine smell. Robert Chalmers, Newsweek, "Digitising Smell: The Third Sense Is Coming to Your Phone," 11 Sep. 2014

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Santos is likely to continue Uribe's crackdown on crime and on the FARC insurgency as well as his orthodox financial policies. Newsweek, "Amazing Photos of Bioluminescent Phytoplankton," 14 Mar. 2018 Generally speaking, the Jewish community can be divided up into three types of affiliation-orthodox, conservative and reform. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Villager Q & A: Rabbi Mendel Blecher of Chabad of The Woodlands," 23 Feb. 2018 The event, hosted by Shabbat San Diego, calls on Jewish San Diegans, whether orthodox, reform or secular, to observe a Shabbat, or Jewish Sabbath, as a sign of unity with Jews around the world. Kate Morrissey, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Thousands of San Diegans to make bread, observe traditional Shabbat in international celebration," 23 Oct. 2017

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


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


see orthodox entry 1

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Phrases Related to orthodox

the Orthodox Church

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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

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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

: accepting and closely following the traditional beliefs and customs of a religion

Orthodox : of or relating to the Orthodox Church


or·tho·dox | \ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks \

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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Comments on orthodox

What made you want to look up orthodox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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