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[proh-pi-doo-tik, -dyoo-]
adjective Also pro·pae·deu·ti·cal.
  1. pertaining to or of the nature of preliminary instruction.
  2. introductory to some art or science.
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  1. a propaedeutic subject or study.
  2. propaedeutics, (used with a singular verb) the preliminary body of knowledge and rules necessary for the study of some art or science.
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Origin of propaedeutic

1830–40; pro-2 + Greek paideutikós pertaining to teaching, equivalent to paideú(ein) to teach (derivative of paîs child; cf. pedo-1) + -tikos -tic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for propaedeutic

Historical Examples

  • Ancient logic would be the propaedeutic or gate of approach to logical science,—nothing more.



  • With him, this propaedeutic discipline, this tool of truth, perfectly performs its task of construction.

British Dictionary definitions for propaedeutic


  1. (often plural) preparatory instruction basic to further study of an art or science
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adjective Also: propaedeutical
  1. of, relating to, or providing such instruction
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek propaideuein to teach in advance, from pro- ² + paideuein to rear
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 propaedeutic


1798, from Greek propaideuein "to teach beforehand," from pro- (see pro-) + paideuein "to teach," which is related to the root of pedagogue. From 1849 as an adjective.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper