conspiracy theory

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Jones is being sued by the families for spreading the false conspiracy theory that the shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, is a hoax. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Alex Jones sanctioned by court after child porn dispute with Sandy Hook lawyers," 18 June 2019 But rather than deterring gossip, each new post has only watered the conspiracy theories flowering in the tens of thousands of comments beneath it. New York Times, "When Britney Spears Posts on Instagram, a Thousand Conspiracies Flower," 12 June 2019 Insider recently compiled a list of 35 of the top conspiracy theories and there’s one entry with strong Alabama ties. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "35 of the most popular conspiracy theories in the US includes an Alabama entry," 10 June 2019 One of the dominant conspiracy theories was that the shooting was a false flag staged to gin up support for implementing gun control measures. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Sandy Hook attorney says YouTube's ban on hoaxer videos comes 'too late to undue the harm'," 5 June 2019 The public fixation on Omar and the conspiracy theories that have spread since her election are only two examples of this. Hadeel Eltayeb, Teen Vogue, "Listening to Muslim Women Is More Important This Muslim Women's Day Than Ever Before," 27 Mar. 2019 So how exactly should the media have responded in this case to the Soros conspiracy theory tweeted by the president? Sean Illing, Vox, "How the media should respond to Trump’s lies: State of the Union edition," 5 Feb. 2019 But a conspiracy theory that has crept up online in recent years asks the question, most recently on Reddit: Was it actually the Titanic that sank? David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 But by paying a firm that blamed Soros for protest activities, Facebook was essentially supporting a popular anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Anna North, Vox, "How Facebook’s scandals are hurting Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In brand," 17 Dec. 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.

See More

First Known Use of conspiracy theory

1871, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conspiracy theory

Statistics for conspiracy theory

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conspiracy theory

The first known use of conspiracy theory was in 1871

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conspiracy theory

conspiracy theory

noun

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!