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 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

This orthodox approach to addressing inflation didn’t sit well with Erdogan, who, unusually, thinks that high interest rates cause inflation. Jason Karaian, Quartz, "Turkey’s president is testing his ability to bend the economy to his will," 7 July 2019 Yet, her past comments, particularly on social media should have been an indication that her campaign was not going to be orthodox. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Houston's Marianne Williamson, presidential hopeful tweets on aliens, God electricity,and Avatar," 28 June 2019 Since Semedo's arrival, right-back duties have been shared between the two and on many occasions the pair have been deployed in the same line-up when Roberto is deployed in his orthodox midfield role. SI.com, "Dani Alves: A Barcelona Legend Who Shouldn't Come Home," 26 June 2019 The main cause of the escalating carnage was the importation of Marxism in its most rigidly orthodox form. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 Many of the best independent filmmakers (most often, women and people of color) have been all but erased from orthodox film history, in part because of a critical prejudice that favors traces of artistry in mainstream Hollywood movies. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Juleen Compton, a Director and Actor Whose Career Was Tragically Overlooked," 19 June 2019 Decades ago, about 1 in 3,600 children born to orthodox Ashkenazi Jewish parents were diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare, recessive genetic disorder that appears a few months after babies are born. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "George Church Wants to Make Genetic Matchmaking a Reality," 15 Apr. 2019 After all, according to orthodox wisdom, there is no more commendable virtue in American political custom and practice than bipartisanship. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "No Joe!," 10 June 2019 Yet unlike the President, Hassett also holds more orthodox, free-market views on trade—a position that put him at odds with the Trump administration’s protectionist, tariff-heavy trade stance toward China and, more recently, Mexico. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "Here Are All the 'Best People' That Have Quit Trump's Economic Team," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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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Statistics for orthodox

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for orthodox

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
: 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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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).


characterized by aphorism

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