• WordNet 3.6
    • n catechism an elementary book summarizing the principles of a Christian religion; written as questions and answers
    • n catechism a series of question put to an individual (such as a political candidate) to elicit their views
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Catechism A book containing a summary of principles, especially of religious doctrine, reduced to the form of questions and answers. "The Jews, even till this day, have their catechisms ."
    • Catechism A form of instruction by means of questions and answers.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catechism A form of instruction by means of questions and answers, particularly in the principles of religion.
    • n catechism An elementary book containing a summary of principles in any science or art, but especially in religion, reduced to the form of questions and answers, and sometimes with notes, explanations, and references to authorities. The following are the principal authoritative church catechisms: The Lutheran, prepared by Luther (1529), still in general use in the German Protestant churches; the Genevan, prepared by Calvin (1536); the Heidelberg, published at Heidelberg (1563), and still a recognized doctrinal standard in the Reformed (Dutch) Church; the Anglican (1549-1604), contained in the Book of Common Prayer and directed by rubric to be taught systematically to children; the Westminster Assembly's, in two forms, Shorter and Larger Catechisms (1647), in use in the Presbyterian and to some extent in Congregational churches; the Methodist (United States, 1852), in three forms. The Tridentine catechism (1566) is a statement of doctrines prepared in obedience to a decree of the Council of Trent, and is of high though not absolute authority in the Roman Catholic Church, but is not intended for use in the instruction of children. The Cracovian and Racorian catechisms (1574, 1605) are Polish in origin and Socinian in doctrine. Numerous other catechisms have been prepared by individuals, but they possess no ecclesiastical authority.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Catechism any compendious system of teaching drawn up in the form of question and answer
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  • G. M. Trevelyan
    G. M. Trevelyan
    “Socrates gave no diplomas or degrees, and would have subjected any disciple who demanded one to a disconcerting catechism on the nature of true knowledge.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. catechismus, fr. Gr. See Catechise
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. catechismus, formed from Gr. katēchiz-ein, katēche-ein, to din into the ears—kata, down, ēchē, a sound.


In literature:

Lessons, spelling-books and catechisms were prepared for the schools.
"Robert Moffat" by David J. Deane
I call that my catechism in six words.
"Parisian Points of View" by Ludovic Halévy
After which he catechized his children and servants, and then returned to his study.
"Woman's Life in Colonial Days" by Carl Holliday
Dis a' your customers get the Catechism when they come in here?
"The Underworld" by James C. Welsh
He shall go through his catechism.
"The Honorable Miss" by L. T. Meade
The same is true of church catechisms.
"How to Teach Religion" by George Herbert Betts
A Catechism of the Steam-Engine, in its Various Applications to Mines, Mills, Steam-Navigation, Railways, and Agriculture.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864" by Various
When, as a child, I learned the Westminster Catechism by heart I found the Ten Commandments easy to remember.
"Humanly Speaking" by Samuel McChord Crothers
Sir Roger Trajenna took up the catechism.
"The Unseen Bridgegroom" by May Agnes Fleming
Some wood-cuts to Cranmer's Catechism (1548) were made by Holbein.
"Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 276" by Various

In poetry:

And wish him years of joy
In this our time of Schism,
And hope he'll hear the royal boy
His little catechism.
"Lines On A Late Hospicious Ewent," by William Makepeace Thackeray
Now say thy prayers, thou sinful man,
And think what thou hast done,
And read thy catechism well,
Thou bloody-minded one;
"The Spectre Pig" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Sect. III.
Or, Christ all in all and our complete Redemption.
A Gospel-Catechism for Young Christians.
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. I." by Ralph Erskine
"First let me say my catechism
Which my poor mammy taught to me."
"Make haste, make haste," says guzzling Jimmy,
While Jack pulled his snickersnee.
"Little Billee" by William Makepeace Thackeray

In news:

Catechism Quiz— An Important Word for Anyone Touched by an Abortion.
The Eucharist is, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "the source and summit of the Christian life," the true body and blood of Jesus Christ.
New from the creator of the hit comedy, "Late Nite Catechism," "The Mystery of the Magi 's Gold," written by Maripat Donovan with Mark Siliva and Jan Morris, will be presented Dec 2 in Hemet.
Catechism Quiz — How Do We React to Mother Teresa 's Doubts.
My sister Meg's rewrite of the Baltimore Catechism to reflect the natural worldview of a toddler.
Spooky Puppets, Slow Pacing In 'Catechism'.
When Kimberly Richards decided to take the veil as Sister in the show "Late Nite Catechism," she did something extra to convince the higher powers of her worthiness.
'Catechism' star likes to go off script.
Sister's a sharp- tongued treat in "Late Nite Catechism," on through next weekend at Tacoma's Theatre on the Square.
A century ago, the typical Catholic school boy could recite sizable chunks of the Catechism verbatim.
Catechism of the Catholic Church .
I believe such Catholics should obtain a copy of the old Baltimore Catechism and meditate on the very first question and answer.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church urges kindness toward people with homosexual tendencies.
When Ireland finally became an official Free State in 1922, it adopted a constitution that in many respects codified Roman Catholic catechism.
The Catechism teaches that the Church 'does not exclude recourse to the death penalty,' but rather allows it on one very grave condition.