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[dok-trin] /ˈdɒk trɪn/
a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government:
Catholic doctrines; the Monroe Doctrine.
something that is taught; teachings collectively:
religious doctrine.
a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject:
the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin doctrīna teaching, equivalent to doct(o)r doctor + -īna -ine2
Related forms
self-doctrine, noun
1. tenet, dogma, theory, precept, belief. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for doctrines
  • The arguments about life's doctrines should ensue from our choices of life's purpose.
  • Theologians call these myths of origin, legends of the fall, and doctrines of sin and redemption.
  • He would be committed to a free press, to tolerance of all doctrines and the maximum of tolerance for individual action.
  • It received these two doctrines at their destined times.
  • There are also wide variations in the doctrines taught in various denominations.
  • Nevertheless, such events still infuriate a non-trivial proportion of the adherents to those doctrines.
  • On the other hand, the various forms of idolatry against which doctrines of this sort are over-reactions must also be deplored.
  • Both are people who steadfastly adhere to a set of idealistic doctrines and are absolutely unyielding.
  • In a world of doctrines and positions, he was impossible to box.
  • The sharp-eyed noticed that there was no apology for the doctrines that justified those actions.
British Dictionary definitions for doctrines


a creed or body of teachings of a religious, political, or philosophical group presented for acceptance or belief; dogma
a principle or body of principles that is taught or advocated
Derived Forms
doctrinal (dɒkˈtraɪnəl) adjective
doctrinality (ˌdɒktrɪˈnælɪtɪ) noun
doctrinally, adverb
doctrinism, noun
doctrinist, 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
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Word Origin and History for doctrines



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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for doctrines


the explication and officially acceptable version of a religious teaching. The development of doctrines and dogmas has significantly affected the traditions, institutions, and practices of the religions of the world. Doctrines and dogmas also have influenced and been influenced by the ongoing development of secular history, science, and philosophy.

Learn more about doctrine with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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