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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


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

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Examples from the Web for catechize

Historical Examples

  • Well, go ahead and catechize Topsy; may be you'll make out something yet.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Every Sabbath we preach in the forenoon and catechize in the afternoon.

  • Ive talked with Brede, I said, and I didnt have to catechize him.

    Short Sixes

    H. C. Bunner

  • You want me to catechize the woman because you are afraid to do so.

  • But the worst will be to catechize us as if we were witnesses in court.

    The Brightener

    C. N. Williamson

British Dictionary definitions for catechize



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 catechize


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