ag·​it·​prop | \ ˈa-jət-ˌpräp How to pronounce agitprop (audio) \

Definition of agitprop

: propaganda You may not think that some agitprop in your Facebook feed would really get under your skin. But that is exactly what smartly tuned postings … are designed to do …The Daily News of Los Angeles especially : political propaganda promulgated chiefly in literature, drama, music, or art Ample and gorgeous evidence … that all was not agitprop in Russia's postrevolutionary culture. — Sada Fretz … turning to studio heads to churn out the sort of rah-rah agitprop released during World War II … — Graydon Carter … [Joshua] Harmon reserves some of his powerful soliloquies for characters who probably oppose his private, personal opinions. That is the difference, of course, between art and agitprop. — Samuel G. Freedman

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Other Words from agitprop

agitprop adjective
agitprop theater agitprop films/songs/posters an agitprop campaign Never has the Kremlin's agitprop mill cooed more seductively … — Richard Poe

Examples of agitprop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The new team delivered the sobering forecast during its Wednesday briefing as part of an effort to be more transparent with Americans on the science and impact of the pandemic — marking a break from the agitprop of the former administration. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Jan. 21-27, 2021," 6 Feb. 2021 World in Action was a mélange of lots of different things wrapped into filmmaking: There was a lot of documentary, a lot of reportage, a lot of journalism, a lot of strange televisual stunts that turned into programs, a lot of agitprop politics. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "With News of the World, Paul Greengrass Went for Optimism," 3 Feb. 2021 Spike Lee made two fascinating films for 2020, released on two different streaming services (the other is David Byrne’s American Utopia, a wonderful concert film perfectly filtered through Lee’s agitprop storytelling style). David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Films of 2020," 10 Dec. 2020 At one end, perhaps, is blunt agitprop, and at the other is pure abstraction. Joshua Barone, New York Times, "Anne Washburn Just Wants Her Trump Play to Be Irrelevant," 18 Oct. 2020 His humor provided the reality check on Chuck’s virtuoso agitprop tirades. Armond White, National Review, "Public Enemy Meets the Enemy," 8 Apr. 2020 This was twenty-first-century agitprop, steeped in globalized culture and designed for digital virality. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Hong Kong’s Protest Movement and the Fight for the City’s Soul," 9 Dec. 2019 Ken Loach’s brutally moving agitprop drama demands a thought be spared for the anonymous souls who drop this stuff off. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Sorry We Missed You’ Review: The Human Toll of That One-Click Buy," 4 Mar. 2020 In a dystopian twist, the ever-expanding void left in the wake of all this creative destruction is being filled by websites masquerading as local news outlets that serve up right-wing agitprop. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Real Threat to Journalism Is Not Donald Trump," 25 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'agitprop.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of agitprop

1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agitprop

borrowed from Russian Agitprop, shortened from Agitacionnopropagandistskij otdel "Agitation-Propaganda Section (of the Central Committee, or a local committee, of the Communist Party)"; later used for the head of such a section, or in compound names of political education organs, as agitpropbrigada "agitation-propaganda brigade"

Note: Russian agitpróp was probably first used in the names of state organs, then generalized as a shortening of agitatsiya i propaganda "agitation and propaganda," though the chronology is uncertain. In the latter sense well-known in Russian at least from the time of Vladimir Mayakovsky's poem Vo ves' golos (1928-30), containing the line "i mne agitprop v zubakh navyaz" ("and I was sick and tired of agitprop," literally, "and agitprop stuck in my teeth").

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Learn More about agitprop

Time Traveler for agitprop

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The first known use of agitprop was in 1925

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Statistics for agitprop

Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Agitprop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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