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 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 Rather than one-dimensional agitprop, Pittman’s paintings offer complex states of agitated being. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Arts: Desert X stirs controversy by staging its next show in Saudi Arabia," 12 Oct. 2019 This advice comes free of medicinal aftertaste or agitprop. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘American Utopia’ Is David Byrne’s Neighborhood," 20 Oct. 2019 But the barrage of agitprop by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) represented a dramatic shift towards a warning of outright war. Sam Kiley, CNN, "Israel is making the case for war, in public, against Lebanon," 30 Aug. 2019 Every year the Mime Troupe premieres a new agitprop musical and performs it for free at outdoor venues around the Bay Area. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "SF Mime Troupe at 60: Still trying to save the world with satire," 9 July 2019 Earlier that year, audiences had fallen hard for the ancien-régime agitprop of Downton Abbey, which premiered in January. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Donald Trump, Meghan Markle, and America’s enduring obsession with the British royals," 12 July 2018 It’s hard to give a good performance in a piece of agitprop: Heavy-duty ideas have a way of steamrolling actual human beings. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Sorry to Bother You May Be the Most Culturally Relevant Movie of the Year," 5 July 2018 Far from being agitprop provocateurs, their ingenuity was driven strictly by the artistic need to resolve dramatic problems. The Economist, "The great second act of Rodgers and Hammerstein," 15 Mar. 2018

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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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

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Agitprop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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