Down to the Wire: Just $5,537 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ONAN

Son of Judah and Shua. When Onan's brother, Er, died, Judah ordered Onan to marry the widow, Tamar, and produce a son who would be Er's child, according to the levirate law (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Onan married her but frustrated the law by withdrawal during intercourse. In punishment, Yahweh caused Onan's death (Genesis 38:8-10). In modern usage, onanism is variously used to mean contraception or masturbation. (Etym. Hebrew Onan.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The gift of orthodoxy: A mercy and a challenge to mercy November 26
Getting Marriage Right November 25
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. November 25
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg November 25
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25