Word of the Day – Indoctrinate

Word of the Day : May 18, 2022


verb in-DAHK-truh-nayt

What It Means

Indoctrinate means “to teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs.”

// The goal of the professor is to teach politics, rather than to indoctrinate students with a narrow set of political beliefs.

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“Moreover, in a pluralistic society, parents from varied backgrounds want to know their children can receive a public education without being indoctrinated into a faith not their own.” — David Callaway, The Parsons (Kansas) Sun, 26 Dec. 2020

Did You Know?

Indoctrinate means “brainwash” to many people, but its meaning isn’t always so negative. When the verb first appeared in English in the 17th century, it simply meant “to teach”—a meaning linked closely to its source, the Latin verb docēre, which also means “to teach.” (Other offspring of docēre include dociledoctordocument, and, of course, doctrine). By the 19th century, indoctrinate was being used in the sense of teaching someone to fully accept only the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group.