1. Teaching; instruction. "He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken." (Mark iv. 2)

2. That which is taught; what is held, put forth as true, and supported by a teacher, a school, or a sect; a principle or position, or the body of principles, in any branch of knowledge; any tenet or dogma; a principle of faith; as, the doctrine of atoms; the doctrine of chances. "The doctrine of gravitation." "Articles of faith and doctrine." (Hooker) The Monroe doctrine, a policy enunciated by President Monroe (Message, Dec. 2, 1823), the essential feature of which is that the United States will regard as an unfriendly act any attempt on the part of European powers to extend their systems on this continent, or any interference to oppress, or in any manner control the destiny of, governments whose independence had been acknowledged by the United States.

Synonyms: Precept, tenet, principle, maxim, dogma.

Doctrine, Precept. Doctrine denotes whatever is recommended as a speculative truth to the belief of others. Precept is a rule down to be obeyed. Doctrine supposes a teacher; precept supposes a superior, with a right to command. The doctrines of the Bible; the precepts of our holy religion. "Unpracticed he to fawn or seek for power By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour." (Goldsmith)

Origin: F. Doctrine, L. Doctrina, fr. Doctor. See Doctor.

(01 Mar 1998)