Definitions

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

  • adjective Relating to, adhering to, or insisting upon a doctrine or theory without regard to practical considerations or problems.
  • noun A doctrinaire person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective stubbornly insistent on theory without regard for practicality or suitability
  • noun a stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions

Etymologies

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

[French, from doctrine, doctrine, from Old French; see doctrine.]

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

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