“They grew up with an extremely didactic father; everything started with a formal lesson.”

As used above, what is the best definition of didactic?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Overly bossy and domineering
Choice B - Embarrassingly enthusiastic
Choice C - Inclined to teach or instruct
Choice D - Related to childcare


Didactic (adjective) – intended or inclined to teach or instruct; or, designed to teach a moral lesson as an ulterior motive

Didacticism (noun) – the philosophy that, in addition to being pleasurable or entertaining, art and literature should be informative and instructional

GRE pro tips:

Didactic is an interesting word because it can carry a positive or negative connotation, depending on the context. For instance, in the statement, “Her didactic skills set the bar high for the other science teachers,” didactic refers to the teacher’s   instructive prowess and the connotation is positive. However, in the statement, “I don’t like that professor because he tends to be too didactic,” the term  indicates that the professor is too preachy and perhaps does not invite balanced discussion. Remember, if it’s too didactic, the teaching can get a little dictatorial.

Example sentences:

“Mary created a didactic program that teaches students how to type properly.”

“In plays, it’s tricky to include historical figures or events without seeming didactic.”

“In his didactic poetry, he often includes moral lessons regarding self-respect and self-image.”