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or·​tho·​dox ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks How to pronounce orthodox (audio)
: conforming to established doctrine especially in religion
orthodox principles
the orthodox interpretation
: conventional
took an orthodox approach to the problem
orthodox medicine
capitalized : of, relating to, or constituting any of various conservative religious or political groups: such as
: eastern orthodox
Greek Orthodox rituals
: 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
orthodoxly adverb


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plural orthodox also orthodoxes
: one that is orthodox
capitalized : a member of an Eastern Orthodox church

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".

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
About 7 million orthodox Christians live in the U.S. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2022 John Kerry winking at his audience or putting up a mute protest against the pending demotion of the orthodox greenhouse-controlling mission? WSJ, 25 Nov. 2022 The nine-episode season focused on Haart’s experience leaving her orthodox faith and the ties that kept Haart forever linked to her past life. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 25 Nov. 2022 The composition of that government is not set in stone, but it is expected to include Likud, the far-right Religious Zionism and ultra-orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 Hunt is considered to be aligned with orthodox Treasury thinking around balanced budgets and fiscal discipline. Armani Syed, Time, 17 Oct. 2022 But does this steady progression to new, experimental, genre-melding sounds leave more orthodox R&B on the back burner? Rivea Ruff, Essence, 27 Oct. 2022 Throughout its history, the university has consistently subscribed to and practiced biblically orthodox beliefs. al, 14 Sep. 2022 Smuggled inside them is the assumption that humanity is male in the most orthodox and restrictive sense of the term, and that anybody who doesn’t fit the bill cannot be described rightly or in general as a human being. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 17 Oct. 2022
Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, told ABC News the FBI contacted him on Thursday to help get the word out to New Jersey's orthodox synagogues. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 4 Nov. 2022 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 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use


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


1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near orthodox

Cite this Entry

“Orthodox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthodox. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


: holding established beliefs especially in religion
an orthodox Christian
: approved as measuring up to some standard : usual, conventional
take an orthodox approach to a problem
: of or relating to Orthodox Judaism
orthodoxly adverb

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