• synonyms


verb (used with object), cat·e·chized, cat·e·chiz·ing.
  1. to instruct orally by means of questions and answers, especially in Christian doctrine.
  2. to question with reference to belief.
  3. to question closely.
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Also especially British, cat·e·chise.

Origin of catechize

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 formscat·e·chiz·a·ble, adjectivecat·e·chi·za·tion, nouncat·e·chiz·er, nounun·cat·e·chized, adjective


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catechise

Historical Examples

  • One evening Felicite took him into a corner and tired to catechise him.

    The Fortune of the Rougons

    Emile Zola

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for catechise



verb (tr)
  1. to teach or examine by means of questions and answers
  2. to give oral instruction in Christianity, esp by using a catechism
  3. to put questions to (someone)
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Derived Formscatechist, catechizer or catechiser, nouncatechistic or catechistical, adjectivecatechistically, adverbcatechization or 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

Word Origin and History for catechise


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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper