Definition of propaedeutic in English:



  • (of an area of study) serving as a preliminary instruction or as an introduction to further study.

    • ‘In this example, primarily for propaedeutic reasons, Fergie's performance is problematised.’
    • ‘His lectures and then his writings became highly significant propaedeutic resources, and many of his collections were taken up by the University botanical garden and then later by the Fitzwilliam Museum.’
    • ‘However, this sort of overarching perspective only has the propaedeutic function of pointing our attention in a certain direction.’
    informative, instructional, informational, illuminating, enlightening, revealing, explanatory, telling
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  • An introduction to a subject or area of study.

    • ‘This view may be compared with the latest contribution to the relevant taxonomies from Douglas Canfield, whose Tricksters and Estates provides a theoretical propaedeutic to his major Broadview anthology.’
    • ‘Her method, then, is not a propaedeutic of the destruction or the destructuration of two terms in order to establish a synthesis that is neither one nor the other.’
    • ‘His reading thus provides us with a propaedeutic to the memorial potential of art after Auschwitz.’
    • ‘Logic, sometimes called philosophia rationales, forms the introduction or propaedeutic to both.’
    • ‘This support of the fabrication of the transcendent in its different modes, all of which, according to Diotima, come under the same propaedeutic: love of beauty.’


Late 18th century: from pro- before + Greek paideutikos of or for teaching suggested by Greek propaideuein teach beforehand.