the·​od·​i·​cy thē-ˈä-də-sē How to pronounce theodicy (audio)
plural theodicies
: defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Put it all together and we're left with a story of moral progress on multiple dimensions that serves as a kind of theodicy for most left-leaning Americans, and even for many on the center right. Damon Linker, The Week, 10 Aug. 2021 Each, in its way, engages with questions of theodicy. Wyatt Mason, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021 But over the decades his writings have retained enduring relevance among students and scholars wrestling with the question of theodicy, or how a god who is good could coexist with a world in which evil often prevails. Washington Post, 9 June 2021 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'theodicy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1797, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of theodicy was in 1797

Dictionary Entries Near theodicy

Cite this Entry

“Theodicy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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