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

Keep scrolling for more

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 term’s origin, however, suggests more a disposition than an ideology. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "And Now a Word for Laissez-Faire," 9 Mar. 2020 Matthews himself has been an outspoken anti-Sanders Democrat and has been warning liberals that the Democratic socialist's ideology makes him unelectable for months. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Democratic panic over Sanders reaches fever pitch as socialist candidate cements front-runner status," 23 Feb. 2020 Lind has always straddled the horseshoe of American political ideology. Samuel Hammond, National Review, "The Return of Class Conflict," 6 Feb. 2020 In the maelstrom of ideology surrounding climate change in this post-truth world, keeping a rational focus is critical. Peter Ellerton, Quartz, "How to talk about climate change like Greta Thunberg," 12 Dec. 2019 In response, several organizations have started to try to provide some guidance, and new tools are emerging that help teachers spot signs of white nationalist ideology and at-risk students. Arkansas Online, "Extremists' views reach youths," 24 Nov. 2019 Ferrante’s novels are great works of gutter philosophy, tracking the growth of political ideology from apartments into fiery streets and the halls of government. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels are the best book series of the decade," 15 Nov. 2019 Written on the eve of World War II, it has been interpreted as an allegory for the indoctrination of Nazi ideology. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmy-Winner Luke Kirby to Lead 'Judgment Day' on New York Stage," 16 Oct. 2019 Just change things up — under the knife and with some hormones and a dose of transgender ideology. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "Coronavirus' lessons in limits," 13 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ideology

Time Traveler for ideology

Time Traveler

The first known use of ideology was in 1813

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ideology

Last Updated

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ideology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ideology

What made you want to look up ideology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!