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[kat-i-kahyz] /ˈkæt ɪˌkaɪz/
verb (used with object), catechized, catechizing.
to instruct orally by means of questions and answers, especially in Christian doctrine.
to question with reference to belief.
to question closely.
Also, especially British, catechise.
Origin of catechize
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin catēchizāre < Greek katēchízein to make (someone) learn by teaching orally, equivalent to katēch(eîn) to teach orally (see catechist) + -izein -ize
Related forms
catechizable, adjective
catechization, noun
catechizer, noun
uncatechized, adjective
3. interrogate, quiz, examine, probe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for catechise
Historical Examples
  • One evening Felicite took him into a corner and tired to catechise him.

  • I cannot suppose that he would venture to catechise McNeice.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • catechise him straight through, and his response was swift and accurate.

    St. Cuthbert's Robert E. Knowles
  • What right, therefore, have you to catechise me as to my goings and comings?

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer
  • She could not catechise him, and force his confidence on this subject of all others.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • We may demand the credentials of every creed and catechise all the catechisms.

    The Professor at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)
  • A new cousin to catechise was a happiness that did not occur every day.

    The Maidens' Lodge Emily Sarah Holt
  • “When I know your right to catechise me, I will answer,” snarled the captain.

    Roger Ingleton, Minor Talbot Baines Reed
  • Come, my dear, have you conned over the catechise I taught you last night?

    The Beaux-Stratagem George Farquhar
  • “I should not presume to catechise you,” he returned, hastily.

    Not Like Other Girls Rosa N. Carey
British Dictionary definitions for catechise


verb (transitive)
to teach or examine by means of questions and answers
to give oral instruction in Christianity, esp by using a catechism
to put questions to (someone)
Derived Forms
catechist, catechizer, catechiser, noun
catechistic, catechistical, adjective
catechistically, adverb
catechization, catechisation, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin catēchizāre, from Greek katēkhizein, from katēkhein to instruct orally, literally: to shout down, from kata- down + ēkhein to sound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for catechise

chiefly British English spelling of catechize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Catechised; catechising.



early 15c., from Church Latin catechizare "to teach by word of mouth" (also source of French catéchiser, Spanish catequizar, Italian catechizzare), from Greek katekhizein "teach orally, instruct by word of mouth," from katekhein "to resound" (see catechesis). Related: Catechized; catechizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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