doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \

Definition of doctrine

1a : a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma Catholic doctrine
b : a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations the Truman Doctrine
c law : a principle of law established through past decisions
d : a military principle or set of strategies
e : something that is taught
2 archaic : teaching, instruction

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Synonyms for doctrine

Synonyms

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The original doctrines were those of the Catholic Church, especially as taught by the so-called doctors (religious scholars) of the Church. But today a doctrine can come from many other sources. Old and established legal principles are called legal doctrine. Traditional psychiatrists still follow the doctrines of Sigmund Freud. Communist doctrine in the 1920s and ʼ30s was often the teachings of Lenin, which were then regarded in the Soviet Union as almost sacred. U.S. presidents have given their names to doctrines as well: In 1823 the Monroe Doctrine stated that the United States would oppose European influence in the Americas, and in 1947 the Truman Doctrine held that America would support free countries against enemies outside and inside.

Examples of doctrine in a Sentence

The government was founded on a doctrine of equality for all people. Many psychologists now question the doctrines of Sigmund Freud. teaching religious doctrine to young people
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Recent Examples on the Web In the 1960s, Latter-day Saint leaders declared that the long-standing prohibition, which ended in 1978, was a fundamental doctrine. The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Sep. 2021 Texas is invoking sovereign immunity, a doctrine that limits when private citizens can sue the state. Mary Ziegler, CNN, 2 Sep. 2021 Democrats want to overhaul qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that shields government officials, including police officers, from being held liable for constitutional violations. Nikole Killion, CBS News, 7 July 2021 Yet the talks have been a slog with the key dispute over qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that usually protects individual officers from lawsuits. Alan Fram, ajc, 27 May 2021 Yet the talks have been a slog with the key dispute over qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that usually protects individual officers from lawsuits. Alan Fram, Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 Qualified immunity, a legal doctrine established by the Court 50 years ago, affords officers broad protection against personal liability for constitutional violations in most cases. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 24 May 2021 But, in 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, citing qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects law-enforcement officers from civil lawsuits. Abe Streep, The New Yorker, 21 May 2021 But the qualified immunity provision — a legal doctrine that protects officers from being held personally liable in civil court for killing someone — remains a point of contention. Chelsey Cox, The Enquirer, 22 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doctrine.' 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 doctrine

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for doctrine

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin doctrina, from doctor

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Time Traveler for doctrine

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The first known use of doctrine was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near doctrine

doctrinary

doctrine

doctrine of correspondence

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Doctrine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doctrine. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for doctrine

doctrine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of doctrine

: a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true
: a statement of government policy especially in international relations

doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \

Kids Definition of doctrine

: something (as a rule or principle) that is taught, believed in, or considered to be true

doctrine

noun
doc·​trine | \ ˈdäk-trən How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \

Legal Definition of doctrine

: a principle established through judicial decisions — compare law, precedent

Other Words from doctrine

doctrinal \ -​trə-​nəl How to pronounce doctrine (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on doctrine

Nglish: Translation of doctrine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of doctrine for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about doctrine

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