ideology

noun
ide·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌī-dē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce ideology (audio) , ˌi- How to pronounce ideology (audio) \
variants: or less commonly idealogy \ ˌī-​dē-​ˈä-​lə-​jē How to pronounce idealogy (audio) , -​ˈa-​ , ˌi-​ \
plural ideologies

Definition of ideology

1a : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture
b : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program
c : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
2 : visionary theorizing

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Other Words from ideology

ideologist \ ˌī-​dē-​ˈä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce ideologist (audio) , ˌi-​ \ noun

What Does ideology Mean?

Ideology has been in use in English since the end of the 18th century and is one of the few words whose coiner we can identify. The French writer A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy proposed it as a term to designate the “science of ideas,” and in that sense the word was quickly borrowed into English. Though ideology originated as a serious philosophical term, within a few decades it took on connotations of impracticality thanks to Napoleon, who used it in a derisive manner. Today, the word most often refers to “a systematic body of concepts,” especially those of a particular group or political party.

Examples of ideology in a Sentence

the ideology of a totalitarian society He says that the election is not about ideology.
Recent Examples on the Web Back in 2010, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Editorial Board endorsed Scott Walker for governor as the Republican Party uncritically embraced the Koch brothers’ economic libertarian ideology that government is bad. David D. Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Many letter writers are upset with the Wisconsin Legislature's inaction on coronavirus. Others are upset with the Editorial Board.," 20 Nov. 2020 He has been outspoken in condemning Milton Friedman’s ideology that a company’s highest priority is shareholder value. Elisa Lipsky-karasz, WSJ, "How Darren Walker and the Ford Foundation Reinvented Philanthropy for the Pandemic," 17 Nov. 2020 For white nationalist denizens of /pol/, Attack on Titan is a brilliant way of normalizing white supremacist ideology for a mainstream audience. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Why Attack on Titan Is the Alt-Right’s Favorite Manga," 16 Nov. 2020 The fringe ideology has largely been promoted online. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Toronto 'incel' says he is not criminally responsible for killing 10 people in 2018 van attack," 10 Nov. 2020 Shihab left Indonesia in 2017 to go on an umrah, or minor pilgrimage, to Mecca shortly after the National Police charged him in connection with a pornography chat case and for allegedly insulting the Pancasila state ideology. Niniek Karmini, Star Tribune, "Firebrand Indonesian cleric returns from 3-year Saudi exile," 9 Nov. 2020 Biden’s mantra was that character would always eclipse ideology. Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times, "From Delaware to the White House: How a half century in politics equipped Joe Biden for this moment," 8 Nov. 2020 More media outlets adopted a non-partisan ideology. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "The 2020 election saw the most voter participation in 120 years," 7 Nov. 2020 President Donald Trump's stronger-than-expected performance in several battleground states may partially due to Americans who believe in a radical conspiracy ideology rushing to the ballot box to support him. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Were QAnon supporters a force behind Trump's 'red wave' in 2020 election?," 6 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ideology.' 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 ideology

1813, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for ideology

French idéologie, from idéo- ideo- + -logie -logy

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Time Traveler for ideology

Time Traveler

The first known use of ideology was in 1813

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Statistics for ideology

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ideology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for ideology

ideology

noun
How to pronounce ideology (audio) How to pronounce ideology (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ideology

: the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party

ideology

noun
ide·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌīd-ē-ˈäl-ə-jē How to pronounce ideology (audio) , ˌid- How to pronounce ideology (audio) \
variants: also idealogy \ -​ˈäl-​ə-​jē How to pronounce idealogy (audio) , -​ˈal-​ How to pronounce idealogy (audio) \
plural ideologies

Medical Definition of ideology

1 : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
2 : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture

Other Words from ideology

ideological also idealogical \ ˌīd-​ē-​ə-​ˈläj-​i-​kəl How to pronounce idealogical (audio) \ adjective
ideologically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ideologically (audio) \ adverb

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