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

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 But Fox News left the story up on its website for days and guests continued to mention the conspiracy theory on its air. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Appeals court revives Seth Rich family's lawsuit against Fox News," 13 Sep. 2019 Lynne Patton, a Trump appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also used her Instagram account to spread the conspiracy theory. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump retweets conspiracy post tying Clintons to Epstein’s death," 11 Aug. 2019 Alex Jones, host of the conspiracy theory show Info Wars, experienced this first hand. Xavier Harding, Fortune, "Twitter, Unable to Control Its Worst Elements, Rolls out a Site Redesign," 16 July 2019 Who could forget the conspiracy theories surrounding Taylor Swift’s naval — not to mention the follow-up memes. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Photo of Gigi Hadid's "Missing" Belly Button Is a Total Optical Illusion," 13 Jan. 2019 Supporters of Clinton have questioned Trump's mental stability for trafficking in conspiracy theories normally confined to the fringes of the political spectrum. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump defends his Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Clinton conspiracy retweet," 10 Aug. 2019 Psychologists speculate that people are drawn to conspiracy theories because a world controlled by dark forces is still preferable to a world in which no one is at the controls. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Operation Avalanche, the only good conspiracy—fake the Moon landing, get promoted," 20 July 2019 It has been linked to alien conspiracy theories since the testing of a spy plane in 1955 in which the Central Intelligence Agency first shed light on the military detachment. Fox News, "'Storm Area 51' social media movement is 'getting somewhat out of hand,' says UFO expert," 17 July 2019 In the 18 years since the 9/11 attacks, the kinds of conspiracy theories that swirled around the World Trade Center attacks in Manhattan have touch the crash of Flight 93, to0. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking Myths About United Flight 93," 10 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler for conspiracy theory

Time Traveler

The first known use of conspiracy theory was in 1871

See more words from the same year

Statistics for conspiracy theory

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Conspiracy theory.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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