A doctrine is a set of beliefs. The word comes from the Latin doctor for “teacher,” so think of a doctrine is the teachings of a school, religion, or political group.


Teaching; instruction.

a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school

Teaching; instruction.

That which is taught; what is held, put forth as true, and supported by a teacher, a school, or a sect; a principle or position, or the body of principles, in any branch of knowledge; any tenet or dogma; a principle of faith; as, the doctrine of atoms; the doctrine of chances.


Doc"trine , n. [F. doctrine, L. doctrina, fr. doctor. See Doctor.] 1. Teaching; instruction.
He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken.
2. That which is taught; what is held, put forth as true, and supported by a teacher, a school, or a sect; a principle or position, or the body of principles, in any branch of knowledge; any tenet or dogma; a principle of faith; as, the doctrine of atoms; the doctrine of chances. "The doctrine of gravitation." I. Watts.
Articles of faith and doctrine.
The Monroe doctrine (Politics), a policy enunciated by President Monroe (Message, Dec. 2, 1823), the essential feature of which is that the United States will regard as an unfriendly act any attempt on the part of European powers to extend their systems on this continent, or any interference to oppress, or in any manner control the destiny of, governments whose independence had been acknowledged by the United States. Syn. -- Precept; tenet; principle; maxim; dogma. -- Doctrine, Precept. Doctrine denotes whatever is recommended as a speculative truth to the belief of others. Precept is a rule down to be obeyed. Doctrine supposes a teacher; precept supposes a superior, with a right to command. The doctrines of the Bible; the precepts of our holy religion.
Unpracticed he to fawn or seek for power By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour.

Teaching; instruction.


Usage Examples

Science cannot tell theology how to construct a doctrine of creation, but you can't construct a doctrine of creation without taking account of the age of the universe and the evolutionary character of cosmic history.

In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.

Distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.

I have found little that is 'good' about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.

A faith is something you die for, a doctrine is something you kill for. There is all the difference in the world.

I realized that my truest passion was for helping people change through faith in a higher power. That meant, for me, belonging to the church. Using my abilities to bring Christian doctrine to a postmodern world.

Godliness, as well as the doctrine of our faith, is a mystery.

Misspelled Form

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Other Usage Examples

I believe that nothing happens apart from divine determination and decree. We shall never be able to escape from the doctrine of divine predestination - the doctrine that God has foreordained certain people unto eternal life.

Government itself is founded upon the great doctrine of the consent of the governed, and has its cornerstone in the memorable principle that men are endowed with inalienable rights.

Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.

I do believe states' rights was a sound doctrine that got hijacked by some unsavory customers for a while - like, 150 years or so. I'm professionally obliged to believe that knowledge is better than ignorance, but some kinds of forgetting are OK with me.

In the early centuries of Islam, the great schools of Islamic jurisprudence were built upon the above principles. Basic to all their legal systems they developed the doctrine that liberty is the fundamental basis of law.

I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.

I also think we need to maintain distinctions - the doctrine of creation is different from a scientific cosmology, and we should resist the temptation, which sometimes scientists give in to, to try to assimilate the concepts of theology to the concepts of science.

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.


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