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

Meanwhile, outside the MAGAsphere, a New York Times article helps breathe new life into the conspiracy theory. Jay Willis, GQ, "Spygate: How Right-Wing Media Creates a Conspiracy Theory Out of Thin Air," 23 May 2018 Trump says racist stuff all the time, including in conversations with US senators, and spent years as a major proponent of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s administration is full of kooks and crooks because it’s led by Donald Trump," 11 July 2018 Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories Culture Alex Jones is not the only guy making a career out of conspiracy theories. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "A ‘Cancer Cure’ Video Skewered Bad Science—and Went Viral Itself," 10 July 2018 There is also a conspiracy theory circulating online that NASA is covering up a likely collision in 2019, apparently in an effort to stop global panic. New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Asteroid Day," 20 June 2018 Eventually, Kniess received his prizes and none of these conspiracy theories was ever proven. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "How one San Antonio man’s obsession with ‘The Price is Right’ almost destroyed the show," 8 June 2018 Baldwin intended his movie as a satire of U.S. imperialism, and the history of right-wing conspiracy theories reaches much farther back than Tribulation 99. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Chicago Underground Film Festival: Tribulation 99," 7 June 2018 And Trump’s constant promotion of false conspiracy theories gives Putin’s info warriors rich material to package for the Russian home crowd as examples of America’s decline. Trudy Rubin,, "Putin's info war against America amplified by Trump | Trudy Rubin," 30 May 2018 As such, Trump’s effective use of conspiracy theories calls to mind some ominous historical parallels. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "“Spygate” and a short history of conspiracy-mongering.," 29 May 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

10 Nov 2018

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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

Comments on conspiracy theory

What made you want to look up conspiracy theory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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