Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person inflexibly attached to a practice or theory without regard to its practicality.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a person inflexibly attached to a practice or theory. See Synonyms at dictatorial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who stubbornly holds to his or her philosophy or opinion regardless of its feasibility.
  • adj. stubbornly holding on to an idea without concern for practicalities or reality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who would apply to political or other practical concerns the abstract doctrines or the theories of his own philosophical system; a propounder of a new set of opinions; a dogmatic theorist. Used also adjectively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who theorizes without a sufficient regard to practical considerations; a political theorist; an ideologist; one who undertakes to explain things by one narrow theory or group of theories, leaving out of view all other forces at work.
  • n. In French history, during the period of the Restoration (1815-30) and later, one of a class of politicians and political philosophers who desired a constitution constructed on historical principles, especially after the analogy of the British constitution.
  • Characteristic of a doctrinaire or unpractical theorist; merely theoretical; insisting upon the exclusive importance of a one-sided theory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. stubbornly insistent on theory without regard for practicality or suitability
  • n. a stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions

Etymologies

French, from doctrine, doctrine, from Old French; see doctrine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The word doctrinaire -- word full of terror to the British mind -- reappeared from time to time between his explosions.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • None of them can fairly be described as doctrinaire: by that time an artist with a pronounced taste for abstractions betook himself to Cubism almost as a matter of course.

    Since Cézanne

  • He lamented that since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, "Pacifica has also become more partisan and far more doctrinaire, which is a real shame, as the original mission of the network was firmly in line with the intent of the Fairness Doctrine, in that, Pacifica wanted to present all viewpoints on the network."

    American Thinker

  • What I believe Clinton meant by the "conventional wisdom" is the kind of doctrinaire "purist liberalism" that allows for no pragmatic compromise or recognition that liberal reform must come incrementally.

    Lanny Davis: Liberals At War Again ... With Each Other

  • It might sound drily 'doctrinaire', but a core set of principles exist to help you to make sense of turmoil.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

  • That's what was so funny about you calling out Freder for being too "doctrinaire" the other day.

    Suing your own abortionist for making you witness the murder of your accidentally delivered child.

  • The day after the Vatican announced that Kasper was to be elevated to cardinal — a sign that he was likely to succeed Cardinal Cassidy as the head of the office — an Austrian magazine published an interview in which Kasper found fault with the document's "doctrinaire" tone and its "clumsy and ambiguous" treatment of other Christian bodies.

    The Year of two Popes

  • But it's an interesting hypothesis, and one doesn't refute it simply by shouting "economicist!" or name-calling "doctrinaire".

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • What I mean to say is I find the idea of some kind of doctrinaire restrictions placed on artistic expression abhorrent enough.

    the misogyny post (updated)

  • Therefore, I think it is most important that we, having these positions, should not assume any kind of doctrinaire attitude towards life.

    Leadership

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