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  1. a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government: Catholic doctrines; the Monroe Doctrine.
  2. something that is taught; teachings collectively: religious doctrine.
  3. a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject: the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
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Origin of doctrine

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin doctrīna teaching, equivalent to doct(o)r doctor + -īna -ine2
Related formsself-doc·trine, noun


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

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British Dictionary definitions for doctrine


  1. a creed or body of teachings of a religious, political, or philosophical group presented for acceptance or belief; dogma
  2. a principle or body of principles that is taught or advocated
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Derived Formsdoctrinal (dɒkˈtraɪnəl), adjectivedoctrinality (ˌdɒktrɪˈnælɪtɪ), noundoctrinally, adverbdoctrinism, noundoctrinist, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from Latin doctrīna teaching, from doctor see doctor
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 doctrine


late 14c., from Old French doctrine (12c.) "teaching, doctrine," and directly from Latin doctrina "teaching, body of teachings, learning," from doctor "teacher" (see doctor (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper