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[dok-truh-nl; British also dok-trahyn-l] /ˈdɒk trə nl; British also dɒkˈtraɪn l/
of, relating to, or concerned with doctrine:
a doctrinal dispute.
Origin of doctrinal
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin doctrīnālis, equivalent to Latin doctrīn(a) (see doctrine) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
doctrinality, noun
doctrinally, adverb
nondoctrinal, adjective
nondoctrinally, adverb
undoctrinal, adjective
undoctrinally, adverb
Can be confused
doctrinal, doctrinaire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for doctrinally
Historical Examples
  • doctrinally he states it adequately and holds it unhesitatingly.

  • doctrinally, Buddhism seems to be less a religion than a system of philosophy.

    The Religions of Japan William Elliot Griffis
  • Men may be doctrinally depraved; they are much more depraved practically.

  • doctrinally, of course, it is his duty to pray for the boat to sink and exterminate this crowd.

    The Ship Dwellers

    Albert Bigelow Paine
  • Socially it rescued her from the priest to make her the chattel of the husband, and doctrinally it expunged her altogether.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • Pan-Islamic nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon and has not been doctrinally worked out.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
  • The tories were sympathetic to the doctrine of divine right and favored a doctrinally high church.

  • doctrinally, the modern Ritualist is prepared to surrender the old theory of inspiration.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • Here too those who deny the freedom of man's will doctrinally yet accept it as a working fact.

    The Discipline of War John Hasloch Potter
Word Origin and History for doctrinally



"pertaining to doctrines," 1560s, from Late Latin doctrinalis, from doctrina (see doctrine). Attested from mid-15c. as the title of a text book (from Middle French doctrinal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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