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

Inheriting an ideology of cultural survival from Québec, the French Canadians in the U.S. resisted assimilation. David Vernette, Smithsonian, "When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americans," 21 Aug. 2019 The court ordered that the warnings be purely informational, not aimed at scaring smokers, nudging them to quit or imposing an ideology. New York Times, "The F.D.A.’s New Cigarette Warnings Are Disturbing. See for Yourself.," 15 Aug. 2019 People who are overly suggestible, isolated and angry, based on their social and environmental circumstances may get attracted to dangerous ideologies, or join a criminal group or cult. Arash Javanbakht, The Conversation, "Can experts determine who might be a mass killer? 3 questions answered," 8 Aug. 2019 After Austria-Hungary’s defeat in World War I, Turanism became an ideology of resentment, serving as inspiration to Hungarian fascist movements. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 The liberals, having ruined this once great state and no longer being able to afford to live here, are leaving like rats deserting a sinking ship and taking their ideologies with them to ruin the rest of the country. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Liberals who ruined this great state now can’t afford to stay," 16 Aug. 2019 White extremist ideology isn’t entirely to blame for mass shootings and other violence in recent years. New York Times, "Fact Check: Tucker Carlson Falsely Calls White Supremacy a ‘Hoax’," 8 Aug. 2019 Speaking on the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski compared the promotion of gay rights with the totalitarian ideologies which Poland had endured during the 20th century. The Economist, "Church leaders in central and eastern Europe remain surprisingly loth to condemn their old adversary," 11 Aug. 2019 But groups with similar ideologies are on the rise, and some blame President Trump. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Tucker Carlson's fellow Fox News host Shepard Smith says 'white nationalism is real'," 8 Aug. 2019

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

15 Sep 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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