deep state

plural deep states

Definition of deep state

: an alleged secret network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defense industries) operating extralegally to influence and enact government policy The power of the deep state comes from experience, knowledge, relationships, insight, craft, special skills, traditions, and shared values. Together, these purported attributes make nameless bureaucrats into a supergovernment that is accountable to no one. That is a scary prospect.— David Rothkopf What the archbishop suspected was a crime stage-managed by Turkey's "deep state"—an opaque underworld where powerful elements within the state, especially the military and security services, act in conjunction with violent extremist groups … as well as the apolitical criminal underworld, to undertake special, illegal operations in the political interest of the country's ruling elite.— John Eibner

First Known Use of deep state

2000, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deep state

translation of Turkish derin devlet

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The first known use of deep state was in 2000

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Cite this Entry

“Deep state.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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