[ dawg-muh, dog- ]
See synonyms for: dogmadogmas on

noun,plural dog·mas or (Rare) dog·ma·ta [dawg-muh-tuh]. /ˈdɔg mə tə/.
  1. an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church.

  2. a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption;the recently defined dogma of papal infallibility.

  1. prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group: the difficulty of resisting political dogma.

  2. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle: the classic dogma of objectivity in scientific observation.

Origin of dogma

First recorded in 1530–40; from Latin: “philosophical tenet, principle, dogma,” from Greek dógma “what seems good, opinion, belief, (in philosophy) doctrine; decision, public decree, ordinance,” equivalent to dok(eîn) “to expect, think, seem, seem good, pretend” + -ma noun suffix

word story For dogma

In the early 16th century, dogma entered English from the Latin term meaning “philosophical tenet.” The Greek word from which it is borrowed means “that which one thinks is true,” and comes ultimately from the Greek dokeîn, which means “to seem good” or “think.”
The origin of the word dogma acts as a reminder to English speakers that now established principles and doctrines were once simply thoughts and opinions of ordinary people that gained popularity and eventually found their way into the universal consciousness of society. Twentieth-century American academic and aphorist Mason Cooley concisely observed that “Under attack, sentiments harden into dogma,” suggesting that dogma is spawned as a defensive act. This idea implies that for every dogma that exists, there is a counter dogma. With so many “truths” out there, there is sure to be a dogma to conveniently fit every set of beliefs.

Other words for dogma

Words Nearby dogma Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dogma in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dogma


/ (ˈdɒɡmə) /

nounplural -mas or -mata (-mətə)
  1. a religious doctrine or system of doctrines proclaimed by ecclesiastical authority as true

  2. a belief, principle, or doctrine or a code of beliefs, principles, or doctrines: Marxist dogma

Origin of dogma

C17: via Latin from Greek: opinion, belief, from dokein to seem good

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

Cultural definitions for dogma


A teaching or set of teachings laid down by a religious group, usually as part of the essential beliefs of the group.

Notes for dogma

The term dogma is often applied to statements put forward by someone who thinks, inappropriately, that they should be accepted without proof.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.