Definition of catechism in English:


Syllabification: cat·e·chism
Pronunciation: /ˈkatəˌkizəm


  • 1A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians.
    More 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.
    More 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/
More 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).

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