adjective ped·a·gog·i·cal \ ˌpe-də-ˈgä-ji-kəl , -ˈgō- \
variants: or less commonly pedagogic play \ˌpe-də-ˈgä-jik, -ˈgō-\
|Updated on: 22 Jul 2018

Definition of pedagogical

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


play \ˌpe-də-ˈgä-ji-k(ə-)lē, -ˈgō-\ adverb

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Recent Examples of pedagogical from the Web

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.

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."

Did You Know?

Pedagogical, which has the somewhat less common spelling variant 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 dull) derives from the same root. Though the words "educational" and "teacher" make the grade in most contexts, pedagogical and pedagogue are useful additions to the class.

First Known Use of pedagogical


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PEDAGOGICAL Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of pedagogical for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to teachers or education

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fullness to the point of excess

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