from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Intended to instruct.
  • adjective Morally instructive.
  • adjective Inclined to teach or moralize excessively.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Fitted or intended for instruction; containing doctrines, precepts, principles, or rules; instructive; expository; edifying: as, a didactic treatise; didactic poetry.
  • Pertaining to instruction; of an edifying quality, character, or manner; used in or given to exposition: as, a didactic style; didactic methods; a didactic lecturer.
  • noun A treatise on education.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A treatise on teaching or education.
  • adjective Fitted or intended to teach; conveying instruction; preceptive; instructive; teaching some moral lesson.
  • adjective Pejorative excessively prone to instruct, even those who do not wish to be instructed; -- of people.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Instructive or intended to teach or demonstrate, especially with regard to morality. (I.e., didactic poetry)
  • adjective Excessively moralizing.
  • adjective medicine Teaching from textbooks rather than laboratory demonstration and clinical application.
  • noun archaic A treatise on teaching or education.

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

  • adjective instructive (especially excessively)


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

[Greek didaktikos, skillful in teaching, from didaktos, taught, from didaskein, didak-, to teach, educate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek διδακτικός (didaktikos, "skilled in teaching"), from διδακτός (didaktos, "taught, learnt"), from διδάσκω (didaskō, "I teach, educate")


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  • My blog has definitions in audio, text, and even Video for this word (with cross link to the new Wordia site, which may be of interest to Wordies no doubt).

    October 19, 2008

  • Re Wordia -- I don't get it;)

    January 5, 2009

  • instructive (especially excessively)

    Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a didactic novel, instructing the reader on how to live a good life.

    October 12, 2016