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

And that lack of understanding led him to invent a ludicrous conspiracy theory about Twitter. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Giuliani can’t figure out how URLs work, blames Twitter for liberal bias," 5 Dec. 2018 In the plea agreement, federal prosecutors debunked conspiracy theories about the case that had circulated online. Karen Zraick, New York Times, "Imran Awan, Ex-Congressional I.T. Worker, Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud," 3 July 2018 Pardon 1 -- Arpaio was an early Trump backer and aided in pushing the conspiracy theory about Obama's birthplace. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "2 ways to get pardoned by Trump (Hint: Celebrity helps)," 30 May 2018 Will this latest conspiracy theory about the Russia investigation bubble up to Fox News, and from there to Trump? Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Anatomy of a Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory," 22 May 2018 And Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal has taken a more agitated stance: lobbing conspiracy theories about the attack, suggesting that many of the victims were cowardly liberals, and ridiculing the Parkland protestors. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Music That Mourns, Whether It Wants to or Not," 13 Apr. 2018 The platform routinely serves videos espousing neo-Nazi propaganda, phony reports portraying dark-skinned people as violent savages and conspiracy theories claiming that large numbers of leading politicians and celebrities molested children. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Congress missed another chance to hold big tech accountable," 12 Dec. 2018 On YouTube, propaganda videos and conspiracy theories abound. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "YouTube to fight fake news with links to real news and context," 10 July 2018 The former Democratic National Committee chairwoman is the target of frequent attacks and conspiracy theories from conservatives. Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "Former aide to Debbie Wasserman Schultz cleared of stealing classified information," 3 July 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

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for conspiracy theory

The first known use of conspiracy theory was in 1871

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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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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