A Word A Day : Didactic

Tuesday, 29th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : dī-dák-tik

1. Inclined to teach or moralize excessively

2. Morally instructive

3. Intended to instruct

4. The art or science of teaching


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


academic, advisory, donnish, edifying, enlightening, exhortative, expository, homiletic, hortative, instructive, moral, moralizing, pedagogic, pedantic, preachy, preceptive, schoolmasterish, sermonic, sermonizing, teacherish, teacherly, teachy, moralistic, improving, educational, informative, teaching


undidactic, uneducation, uninstructional,

Contextual Examples:

• In the opinion of many students, the professor's didactic approach was too heavy.

• Luther's seemingly amusing talk had a didactic purpose. He was trying to show his listeners the difference between right and wrong.

• The Priest's conversation was always didactic. He never said anything that wasn't intended to teach a lesson.

• The new novel is painfully didactic. The author’s aim is always to instruct and never to entertain.

• It is so intensely and deliberately didactic, and its subject is esteemed so dry, that I delight in throwing it at the heads of the wiseacres who repeat the parrot cry that art should never be didactic.

• He had already written a didactic poem in which he set forth his reasons for adhering to the English Church.

Related Words:

didactically : Adverb

didacticism : Noun

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