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 But that didn't stop conspiracy theories about his death, or questions about how such a high-profile prisoner could have died on the correctional center's watch. Pat Milton, CBS News, "Jeffrey Epstein's guards could face criminal charges, source says," 15 Nov. 2019 Anderson County Clerk Jason Denny, a Republican, said his office has been frustrated by baseless conspiracy theories about the vote totals that have spread over the past week. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Matt Bevin promotes news conference of supporters alleging election fraud," 13 Nov. 2019 Trump then asks Zelenskiy to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, and later explicitly mentions the Bidens. Laurie Kellman, Twin Cities, "What to watch as impeachment inquiry of Trump goes public," 12 Nov. 2019 Trump then asks Zelenskiy to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, and later explicitly mentions the Bidens. Laurie Kellman, The Denver Post, "What to watch as Trump impeachment inquiry goes public," 12 Nov. 2019 Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate Biden and a delusional conspiracy theory about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 American election. BostonGlobe.com, "HELL HATH NO fury like a scorned Republican congressman.," 26 Oct. 2019 At issue: Giuliani's wild-eyed promotion of wildly debunked conspiracy theories about Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Joe Biden thinks TV producers should stop putting Rudy Giuliani on air," 29 Sep. 2019 Cuomo sneeringly dismissed Giuliani, saying the former mayor was throwing out conspiracy theories about Biden to distract from the whistleblower complaint. oregonlive, "Rudy Giuliani erupts on CNN over Donald Trump whistleblower, calls cable network ‘the enemy’," 20 Sep. 2019 Kotaku also notes that many of his fans began spreading conspiracy theories about the ADL, suggesting that the organization had somehow blackmailed PewDiePie. Wired, "Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, Parliament Says," 13 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

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Conspiracy theory.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conspiracy%20theory. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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

very cautious or careful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!