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

The nation’s prayer of exceptionalism, which has rightly or wrongly guided the country at home and abroad, is cracked by fierce, unforgiving ideologies. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Why Paul Simon’s ‘American Tune’ is the anthem for our troubled nation. Again," 4 July 2019 But as the mural debate illustrates, censorship isn’t tied to a particular ideology, said Nora Pelizzari, of the National Coalition Against Censorship. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "School board faces mural dilemma: free speech or racial justice," 2 July 2019 The Democratic Party is evolving — not just in ideology, though Biden has always been a little more populist in his rhetoric compared to his policies — but also in identity. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained," 26 June 2019 These views were related to ideology, as those who were very liberal picked this while moderates were more inclined to want compromise. CBS News, "CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit," 26 June 2019 Justices are resolving very technical, practical questions about how to read a specific statute or law, not waxing philosophical about ideology. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The latest US Supreme Court rulings are blowing up pundits’ predictions," 15 June 2019 Sanders, who first ran for Vermont governor forty-seven years ago, has found a following among a new generation that is not steeped in Cold War ideology. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "The Many, Tangled American Definitions of Socialism," 14 June 2019 As mayor, Rendell was a problem-solver, more interested in solutions than in ideology. Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "On sanctuary city, Rendell says compromise can happen. But Philly and ICE are not interested | Stu Bykofsky," 29 May 2018 When will Americans wake up and realize that the public schools are awash in extreme leftist ideology? Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Principal apologizes to black students for 'party like it's 1776' prom tickets | The Kansas City Star," 21 May 2018

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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Statistics for ideology

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for ideology

The first known use of ideology was in 1813

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More Definitions for ideology

ideology

noun

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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