Definition of doctrinaire in English:



  • Seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations.

    ‘a doctrinaire conservative’
    • ‘Yet doctrinaire democrats don't seem to give a tinker's toss about placing limits on what a legislature (local or global) can divvy or decide.’
    • ‘Some commentaries are doctrinaire; others are struggling to make sense of what happened and how the case informs theorizing about family therapy.’
    • ‘What impressed me most was his refusal to be doctrinaire, his openness to sharp ideas no matter where on the political spectrum they came from.’
    • ‘It may have been written by a wildly doctrinaire author, whose ideas would be revealed as utterly left-field if placed in a context.’
    • ‘I think it saddened him to see people obdurate, unwilling to let go of doctrinaire positions instead of facing issues on their merits.’
    • ‘What advice do you have for conservative students taking non-science classes taught by doctrinaire liberals?’
    • ‘He had been a Marxist since his early 20s, but his was by no means a rigid, doctrinaire approach.’
    • ‘At this point we must consider a doctrinaire objection.’
    • ‘He complains that the phrase is ‘too doctrinaire.’’
    • ‘In those days of doctrinaire communism, vanity was regarded as a form of capitalist decadence.’
    • ‘I don't think he is doctrinaire or ideological in any sense.’
    • ‘Yet, the argument does not come across as ideologically motivated or doctrinaire.’
    • ‘However, he is neither doctrinaire nor derisive toward his opponents.’
    • ‘He was very much a free thinker, who railed against any sort of doctrinaire approach to politics and problem solving.’
    • ‘They are also two of the body's most doctrinaire conservatives.’
    • ‘They are not concerned with complicated doctrinaire considerations, but with a sure instinct are demanding fundamental solutions.’
    • ‘The markets don't believe it is credible for countries to immolate their economies simply to meet the pact's doctrinaire terms.’
    • ‘Jones was often mistaken for a socialist, although the doctrinaire socialists derided him for his belief in Christian brotherhood and opposition to class warfare.’
    • ‘Skepticism, rather than doctrinaire conviction, provides the only appropriate safeguard against human frailty and desire.’
    • ‘In the 1950's and 1960's, Lincoln became increasingly rigid and doctrinaire, hostile to innovation and change, though no less influential.’
    dogmatic, rigid, inflexible, uncompromising, unyielding, holding fixed views, adamant, insistent, pontifical
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  • A person who seeks to impose a doctrine without regard to practical considerations.

    • ‘The admission that past Americans harbored ambivalent and confusing attitudes about nature seems too untidy for the doctrinaire.’
    • ‘‘I was a social reformer and doctrinaire first, last, and all the time,’ he wrote.’
    • ‘He was attending the annual summer school of the party, a force compounded of anti-Stalinist Marxists and small, sandalled groups of alternative doctrinaires.’
    • ‘This was a monumental mistake, the kind only a doctrinaire can make.’
    • ‘Yet these are the choices offered by our influential doctrinaires.’
    • ‘First I stopped believing my teachers, then - all manner of ideologists and doctrinaires.’
    • ‘The remedies suggested by the unorthodox doctrinaires are futile.’
    • ‘It seems when push comes to shove, the doctrinaire retreat.’
    • ‘His biographer has rightly called him a ‘southern nationalist’ and the ‘last of the doctrinaires of the Old South.’’
    • ‘There were few doctrinaires in Parliament, and the reforming zeal of the Whigs rapidly waned.’
    • ‘Their decision to marry in a low-key civil ceremony means that they will offend no one save the doctrinaires.’
    • ‘It's the opponents of Emmanuel College and other faith schools who are the real doctrinaires.’
    • ‘Next time you hear a Monroe doctrinaire utter that the brand belongs to the consumer, just take the aphorism for what it is - just another delusion of branders.’
    • ‘Behind the facade of ‘society,’ there is always a group of power-hungry doctrinaires and exploiters, ready to take your money and to order your actions and your life.’
    • ‘Perception requires only that one exercise the will to perceive, and it's a tool as available to the doctrinaire, the ignorant, and the gullible as it is to the skeptical and concerned.’
    • ‘It may be that it represents the colonisation of Washington power by a group of quasi-revolutionary doctrinaires.’
    pedant, precisionist, perfectionist, formalist, literalist, stickler, traditionalist, doctrinaire, quibbler, hair-splitter, dogmatist, casuist, sophist, fault-finder, caviller, carper, pettifogger
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Early 19th century: from French, from doctrine (see doctrine).