Definition of catechism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkatɪkɪz(ə)m/


1A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for religious instruction.
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.’
1.1(In Roman Catholic use) religious instruction in general.
Example sentences
  • Early in his first premiership, Francesco Crispi changed an 1859 compulsory education law mandating that students take lessons in Scripture and catechism.
  • Psalm-singing, catechism and Scripture were taught daily in school.
  • Music was perhaps his best subject and he was awarded the school prize in catechism and good conduct almost every year.
1.2A series of fixed questions, answers, or precepts used for instruction: the preventive health catechism ‘more exercise, less tobacco and alcohol, and better diet
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: /katɪˈkɪzm(ə)l/
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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Line breaks: cat¦ech|ism

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