Definition of catechism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkadəˌkizəm/


1A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians.
Example sentences
  • Question 64 of the catechism states that the mission of the church is to extend mercy and forgiveness to ‘the needy’ in ways that point to Christ.
  • As I compare my evolutionary account of Original Sin with the catechism's exposition, I see a fairly good fit.
  • The catechism explains that Original Sin ensures that each human being, as a descendant of Adam and Eve, inherits ‘a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice.’
1.1A series of fixed questions, answers, or precepts used for instruction in other situations.
Example sentences
  • I ended that address with a little catechism for Catholic writers: Question 1: What is the duty of the Catholic novelist?
  • Almost every morning for the past five years, she has been leading close to 500 children in a rousing, outdoor catechism about education.



Pronunciation: /ˌkatəˈkizməl/
Example sentences
  • The catechismal teaching that taking a life, even an unborn one, is wrong may polarise people into two distinct camps, but it does not encourage the taking of lives (ready-formed ones).
  • The catechismal school dealt more with Catholicism than reading, writing and arithmetic.
  • The Heidelberg Catechism follows this tradition of catechismal instruction and discusses the Apostles’ Creed in questions 22-58.


Early 16th century: from ecclesiastical Latin catechismus, from ecclesiastical Greek, from katēkhizein (see catechize).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·e·chism

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