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From Latin catechizare, from Ancient Greek κατηχίζειν (katēkhízein), from κατηχέω (katēkhéō, to teach (orally)), from κατά (katá, down) + ἠχέω (ēkhéō, to sound, to resound).



catechize (third-person singular simple present catechizes, present participle catechizing, simple past and past participle catechized)

  1. To give oral instruction, especially of religion; now specifically by the formal question-and-answer method; in the Church of England, to teach the catechism as preparation for confirmation.
  2. To question at length.
    • 1888, Henry James, The Modern Warning:
      She promised herself to ascertain thoroughly, after they should be comfortably settled in the ship, the animus with which the book was to be written. She was a very good sailor and she liked to talk at sea; there her husband would not be able to escape from her, and she foresaw the manner in which she should catechise him.
    • 1910, Saki, ‘The Soul of Laploshka’, Reginald in Russia:
      Putting a strong American inflection into the French which I usually talked with an unmistakeable British accent, I catechized the Baron as to the date of the church's building, its dimensions, and other details which an American tourist would be certain to want to know.