I'm trying to think of the word for someone sort of being forced to be exposed to an idea or belief, but I can't think of it. I'll know it when I see it, but it's slipping my mind.

An example of how I'm trying to use it:

... being _____ to Christian beliefs.

I keep wanting to say susceptible, but I know that's not right. Is it? Because susceptible is more like vulnerable, correct?

I know I'm looking for a specific word, but if anything else comes to mind (a phrase, etc) please feel free to share.

PS: The example is not the complete sentence I am trying to use, but it is the most relevant part of the sentence.

  • Have you looked in a thesarus? Try Oxford.
    – Juan M
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 15:15
  • I have looked in a thesaurus, none of them showed the word I was looking for, which is strange. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 15:17
  • By "expose someone to a belief", do you mean "make someone aware of a belief they knew nothing about", or do you mean "make someone cater to a belief they don't subscribe to"?
    – talrnu
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 17:29
  • More so the second one. The book I'm reading has been challenged in schools for supposedly subjecting students to a Muslim god. I just wanted a different way of saying "being exposed to a Muslim god" because I had said that in a previous sentence. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 13:00

7 Answers 7


Perhaps Subjected is the word you are looking for. It can be defined as:


  • To cause or force to undergo (a particular experience or form of treatment).

"He'd subjected her to a terrifying ordeal"


The OP says " being forced to be exposed to an idea or belief"

"indoctrinate" - to instruct in a doctrine or ideology, esp. dogmatically, to imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view.

"being indoctrinated in Christian beliefs"

  • "there will always be a segment of society that chooses or is indoctrinated to ignore these rules."
  • "women are indoctrinated to be passive even though they are educated and encouraged to go into the work"
  • "many parents were concerned that their students were being indoctrinated to accept the existence of space aliens"
  • 1
    I think indoctrinated typically takes the preposition in rather than to when used with a prepositional phrase. E.g. "He was indoctrinated in Christian beliefs". Your sample sentences are all of the form indoctrinated + infinitive. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 18:02
  • 1
    @HarrisonPaine spot on, although it can also use 'into', and 'with' (when it's active voice) as in "to indoctrinate s.t. with s.t."
    – Jeutnarg
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 18:14
  • @HarrisonPaine You're right. I'm fixing it. Thanks.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 22:24

Beliefs are often described as being inflicted on someone:

inflict ɪnˈflɪkt


past tense: inflicted; past participle: inflicted

impose something unwelcome on.

"she is wrong to inflict her beliefs on everyone else"

  • yes, having Christian beliefs inflicted on [someone].
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 15:51
  • Bear in mind this word is likely to offend as it implies the exposure was done knowing it would cause pain or harm. It's more often used to describe physical violence, so using it in the manner this answer suggests would loudly imply parallels between physical violence and whatever the inflicter believes they're doing. It doesn't make this answer wrong, it's just a consideration that shouldn't be disregarded.
    – talrnu
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 17:24
  • @Lambie just chill with the fact that I used Christian beliefs. You wouldn't have said anything about it had I used the actual context (which was regarding Muslim beliefs). I put Christian beliefs just to see what people like you would do. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 13:06
  • @talrnu I do see your point, which may be why I felt that subjected was a better word. It was the word that I was originally looking for. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 13:08
  • @Harley Quinn "You wouldn't have said anything about it had I used the actual context (which was regarding Muslim beliefs)." I didn't say anything. My comment was LINGUISTIC: yes, having Christian beliefs inflicted on [someone].
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 14:50

Consider "confronted with".

The word "confront" is defined by Merriam-Webster as

to cause to meet: bring face-to-face


Given that inflict was the accepted answer, I assume the OP was looking for negative connotations.

However, if one is looking for a less condemnatory word, there is this:

inculcate - to cause someone to have particular beliefs or values by repeating them frequently:

The goal is to inculcate in students a tolerance for people of other religions and races.

Or even more mild:

instill - to put a feeling, idea, or principle gradually into someone’s mind, so that it has a strong influence on the way the person lives:

My parents instilled in me a love of reading.

Both definitions from Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary.

The connotational differences between these two words are very slight. I will say, without much authority, that inculcate implies more conscious teaching, while instill could imply more longterm acts of leading by example. Instill also tends to imply success at affecting character, while inculcate does not imply success as strongly or as lastingly.

  • Originally I was looking for subjected, but there are a few different answers that I've noticed will work as well. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 13:04

I believe the Latin for exposed is ex-posed, where ex is "out" and posed is like "position" or "posture". To be exposed is to have an outward position. In the same vein, inoculated is in-oculated, where in is "in" and oculated is like "oculus" or "eye", or to inoculate something is transliteral Latin for "into the eye". Also, inoculate has come to be used by doctors to mean "introduce (an infective agent) into an organism", so as some consider Religion "infective" it may be appropriate to say "inoculated with Christian Beliefs".

But, I have probably added some extra art to your sentence that was outside its meaning, and really I think you were probably simply looking for the word:


...being introduced to Christian Beliefs

  • Thank you, I can agree that inoculated might be more appropriate. However, I was looking for subjected. I may change it to inoculated, since that does sound more fitting. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 19:28
  • I thought you were reading a book, not writing one.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 20:13
  • @Lambie I am? Where's the relevance Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 13:02

The entire phrase 'was exposed to' can be replaced by the single word 'encountered': He encountered Christian beliefs. Another single word is 'observed'. Either word reflects the un-perjorative intent of the original phrase.

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