Definition of doctrinaire in English:



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

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

    • ‘It seems when push comes to shove, the doctrinaire retreat.’
    • ‘This was a monumental mistake, the kind only a doctrinaire can make.’
    • ‘First I stopped believing my teachers, then - all manner of ideologists and doctrinaires.’
    • ‘The remedies suggested by the unorthodox doctrinaires are futile.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet these are the choices offered by our influential doctrinaires.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His biographer has rightly called him a ‘southern nationalist’ and the ‘last of the doctrinaires of the Old South.’’
    • ‘Their decision to marry in a low-key civil ceremony means that they will offend no one save the doctrinaires.’
    • ‘The admission that past Americans harbored ambivalent and confusing attitudes about nature seems too untidy for the doctrinaire.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's the opponents of Emmanuel College and other faith schools who are the real doctrinaires.’
    • ‘‘I was a social reformer and doctrinaire first, last, and all the time,’ he wrote.’
    • ‘It may be that it represents the colonisation of Washington power by a group of quasi-revolutionary doctrinaires.’
    • ‘He was attending the annual summer school of the party, a force compounded of anti-Stalinist Marxists and small, sandalled groups of alternative doctrinaires.’
    • ‘There were few doctrinaires in Parliament, and the reforming zeal of the Whigs rapidly waned.’
    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).