- an elementary book containing a summary of the principles of the Christian religion, especially as maintained by a particular church, in the form of questions and answers.
- the contents of such a book.
a similar book of instruction in other subjects.
a series of formal questions put, as to political candidates, to bring out their views.
Origin of catechism
1495–1505;Related formscat·e·chis·mal, adjective
< Late Latin catēchismus
apparently equivalent to catēch(izāre
) to catechize
+ -ismus -ism
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for catechism
Derived Formscatechismal, adjective
instruction by a series of questions and answers, esp a book containing such instruction on the religious doctrine of a Christian Church
rigorous and persistent questioning, as in a test or interview
Word Origin for catechism
C16: from Late Latin catēchismus, ultimately from Greek katēkhizein to catechize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for catechism
c.1500, "instruction in Christian principles," also "elementary question-and-answer book of religious instruction," from French catéchisme (14c.) and directly from Church Latin catechismus "book of instruction," from Greek katekhismos, from katekhizein "to teach orally" (see catechize). Related: Catechismal.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper