conspiracy theory


Definition of conspiracy theory

: a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

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Other Words from conspiracy theory

conspiracy theorist noun

Examples of conspiracy theory in a Sentence

Conspiracy theories sprung up soon after the leader's assassination.

Recent Examples on the Web

PayPal will no longer do business with Infowars, according to a post on the conspiracy theory site this morning. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "PayPal bans Infowars for promoting hate," 21 Sep. 2018 The hard turn against Obama was probably inevitable from a man whose rise to political prominence was fueled by a conspiracy theory about Obama’s birth certificate. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Where Is Barack Obama?," 24 June 2018 Lynn McHale also posted messages about the border separation crisis that veered into conspiracy theory territory. Brian J. White,, "It looks like former Celtics star Kevin McHale was at Trump’s rally in Minnesota," 21 June 2018 After being overwhelmed by the loss of her show, apologizing to Jarrett and going off Twitter for a few days, Barr resurfaced on Twitter with a retweet of a conspiracy theory that took aim at Jarrett. Greg Braxton,, "The battles of Roseanne Barr and why a spinoff show could lead to another epic fight," 14 June 2018 To the far right, the Muslim Brotherhood is a key component of a conspiracy theory claiming Muslims are staging an Islamic takeover of the U.S. government. The Washington Post,, "A brief history of Roseanne Barr's online hate," 30 May 2018 Top hashtags, topics, mentions and retweets tracked by the site skew heavily toward pro-Trump, far-right, and conspiracy theory messages. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Trolls and Bots Moved Fast to Politicize Texas School Shooting on Social Media," 19 May 2018 For nine seasons, The X-Files brought tales of the paranormal, supernatural, and alien to television, combining Unsolved Mysteries with a conspiracy theory flair. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "We Want You to Believe: 15 Episodes to Get Started With 'The X-Files'," 12 June 2015 But there are still the requisite conspiracy theories: that Troom Troom is actually run by a millennial woman in San Francisco, or that the Troom Troom girls are being held against their will, forced to make weird DIY videos for ransom. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "YouTube is full of cringey, clickbait DIY channels. They’re even weirder than you think.," 12 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conspiracy theory.' 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 conspiracy theory

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for conspiracy theory

The first known use of conspiracy theory was in 1871

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More Definitions for conspiracy theory

conspiracy theory


English Language Learners Definition of conspiracy theory

: a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups

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