Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,368 to go. Please donate!
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

ONANISM

Theological term for contraception. The name is derived from Onan, son of the patriarch Judah. When Judah asked Onan to marry his (Onan's) brother's widow, in order to raise up progeny to his brother, Onan frustrated conception. "What he did was offensive to Yahweh, so He brought about his death also" (Genesis 38:8-10). The more popular terms for onanism are: birth control, contraception, planned parenthood, and Neo-Malthusianism.

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

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 10 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 14 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6