ideology

noun
ide·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌī-dē-ˈä-lə-jē, ˌi- \
variants: or less commonly idealogy \ ˌī-​dē-​ˈä-​lə-​jē , -​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 , 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

In a global context, the American Revolution was largely a war about trade and economic influence—not ideology. Alice George, Smithsonian, "The American Revolution Was Just One Battlefront in a Huge World War," 28 June 2018 Fifty-two percent considered Zionism a racist ideology, and 57 percent had a bad image of Israel. Eric Berger, Jewish Journal, "European Jews increasingly feel abandoned by government," 13 June 2018 There seems go be no partisan ideology behind the Times’ coverage of the Clintons. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Why the Clintons and The New York Times Can’t Get Along," 25 Apr. 2018 Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "“I Try Not to Have a Schedule”: Talking Writing with William Vollmann," 20 Apr. 2018 Tenold, who writes about the far right in America, human rights issues in Russia and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, lived among white nationalists to report on their ideology. Carole Goldberg, courant.com, "Write Stuff: Vegas Tenold To Talk About Covering Neo-Nazis, Ray Allen To Sign Copies Of His Memoir," 21 Mar. 2018 And the third problem, which is the gravest, is that people use narratives because of their tremendous emotional impact to drive human actions, movements, political parties, religions, ideologies. Angela Chen, The Verge, "How History Gets Things Wrong," 5 Oct. 2018 Instead, Wolfe focuses on science as propaganda, part of America’s psychological offensive designed to convince people to buy into American ideology. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Cold War propaganda spread the myth that science isn’t political," 11 Dec. 2018 Toxic ideologies often start around family dinner tables. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving," 19 Nov. 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

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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, ˌid- \
variants: also idealogy \ -​ˈäl-​ə-​jē , -​ˈal-​ \
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 \ adjective
ideologically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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