ped·​a·​gog·​i·​cal | \ ˌpe-də-ˈgä-ji-kəl How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) , -ˈgō- How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pedagogic \ ˌpe-​də-​ˈgä-​jik How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) , -​ˈgō-​ \

Definition of pedagogical

: of, relating to, or befitting a teacher or education pedagogical methods pedagogical concerns

Other Words from pedagogical

pedagogically \ ˌpe-​də-​ˈgä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) , -​ˈgō-​ \ adverb

Did you know?

Pedagogical, which has the somewhat less common variant form pedagogic, was coined in the early 17th century from a Greek adjective of the same meaning. That adjective, paidagōgikos, in turn, derives from the noun paidagōgos, meaning "teacher." The English word pedagogue (which can simply mean "teacher" but usually suggests one who is particularly pedantic or dull) derives from the same root. Although the words educational and teacher make the grade in most contexts, pedagogical and pedagogue are useful additions to the class.

Pedagogical, Pedagogy, and Pedagogue

Pedagogical and its cognates present us with an excellent example of how different words can come from the same root, retain an almost identical meaning, and yet take on distinctive connotations. Pedagogical, pedagogy, and pedagogue all come from the Greek paidagōgos, originally the word for a slave who brought children to school. But while pedagogical and pedagogy have meanings simply related to teaching or teachers (with no implied judgment), pedagogue has taken on a negative tone, often referring to a dull or overly formal teacher. A similar transformation has taken place with many of the pedant- words in English. A pedant originally denoted simply "a tutor," but now tends to mean "one who makes a show of knowledge." Pedantic formerly meant "relating to teaching," but now is more commonly used to mean "unimaginative or dull."

Examples of pedagogical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Led by the composer Borys Lyatoshynsky, the society sponsored hundreds of ensembles, pedagogical initiatives and discussions dedicated to Ukrainian music. New York Times, 13 May 2022 And as usual with this conductor, there was a pedagogical aspect to the proceedings. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2022 These include orientation programs focused on free expression; workshops and team meetings for athletes, fraternities and sororities; and new pedagogical approaches for faculty. Jennifer Miller, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 Shows such as Shark Tank or House Hunters, reflect real work situations that can be used as a strategy to improve the pedagogical approach with different teaching styles. Josh Wilson, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 By Jody Rosen / Illustration by Lennard Kok Pop music has always had a pedagogical streak. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 Moreover, the transformation of the university’s pedagogical environment is not an unprecedented event. Garion Frankel, National Review, 5 Mar. 2022 Brown immediately began incorporating her interest in modernism into the picture-book genre, which at the time was undergoing an artistic and pedagogical revolution. Anna Holmes, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 In fact, Calkins’ close pedagogical cousins, Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, have recently come in for similar criticism for their literacy curriculum. Natalie Wexler, Forbes, 14 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pedagogical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pedagogical

1595, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About pedagogical

Time Traveler for pedagogical

Time Traveler

The first known use of pedagogical was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About pedagogical

Dictionary Entries Near pedagogical




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pedagogical

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pedagogical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!