the·​od·​i·​cy | \ thē-ˈä-də-sē How to pronounce theodicy (audio) \
plural theodicies

Definition of theodicy

: defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil

Examples of theodicy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That paradox—Why would a benevolent God create evil and permit suffering?—the question of theodicy, triggered my own crisis of faith. Cyrena Touros, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Mar. 2021 Seeing her construct her own theodicy from the simple process of observing and reasoning is like watching the passage of two thousand years over a few months. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2021 By Annie Dillard Published in 1974, Dillard’s diary of a year spent by Tinker Creek, which runs near Roanoke, Va., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, combines close observation with a philosophical inquiry about theodicy. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2020 He’s written an odd little book, a hodgepodge of music criticism, theodicy, biography, exegesis, meditations on fatherhood, and musings on his own prison ministry. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 9 Feb. 2020 That mystery, rather too peremptorily stated in this story, is familiar in Trevor’s work, much of which could be read as problems in theodicy. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, 11 May 2018 In religion, theodicy is the branch of writing that tries to explain how a perfect god would nonetheless make our lives so painful. Wyatt Mason, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of theodicy

1797, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for theodicy

modification of French théodicée, from théo- the- (from Latin theo-) + Greek dikē judgment, right — more at diction

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About theodicy

Time Traveler for theodicy

Time Traveler

The first known use of theodicy was in 1797

See more words from the same year

Statistics for theodicy

Cite this Entry

“Theodicy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on theodicy Encyclopedia article about theodicy


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

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

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!