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 message from Christchurch and the message from Al Noor and Linwood mosques could not be more clear - the global ideology of hate will fail to divide us. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Gave a Moving Speech at Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque. Here's the Full Transcript.," 26 Apr. 2019 The dividing line between the parties was no longer a philosophy about governing (a political ideology — more or less government). Ezra Klein, Vox, "A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently," 18 Dec. 2018 Mr Macron’s detractors accuse him of lacking ideology, or political clarity. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron’s popularity hits a new low," 12 July 2018 The Kochs are motivated by a mixture of ideology (public transit is socialistic) and self-interest (they are heavily invested in fossil fuel extraction and automobile production). Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Koch brothers know how to play the long game to change America.," 19 June 2018 Prior versions of the alliance -- before Mahathir joined -- collapsed in acrimony over ideology, and at times parties competed against each other for votes in the same districts. Anuradha Raghu, Bloomberg.com, "Malaysia's Anwar Pardoned, Paving Way for Return to Politics," 16 May 2018 The military was predominately responsible for overthrowing dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958 and under the constitution holds no allegiance to any political party or ideology. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Venezuela opposition’s fight to win over troops," 20 Feb. 2019 The desire to belong shapes American opinions Our findings are in keeping with a growing political science literature on how the desire to conform to group norms shapes ideology. Benjamin Toff, Washington Post, "How worried are you about an impending trade war? That might depend on what your fellow party members think," 12 July 2018 The majority was categorized as holding Islamist-extremist views – 82 percent, according to Home Office statistics – but the proportion of those holding far-right ideologies has increased too, the statistics show. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "The vicious circle of Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism," 6 July 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

12 May 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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