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

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.

See More

First Known Use of conspiracy theory

1871, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conspiracy theory

Share conspiracy theory

Statistics for conspiracy theory

Last Updated

17 Mar 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

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!