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

To embrace this faux women’s movement is to embrace nothing more than the pink flavor of the same radically left-wing ideology on offer everywhere else. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "‘Women’s Movement’ Rejects Female Conservatives Running for Office," 25 Jan. 2018 While that ideology might be tempting to believe, the truth is losing weight or getting in the best shape of our lives may not result in making us happier people. SELF, "I'm a Personal Trainer but Here's Why You'll Never Hear Me Say 'New Year, New You'," 10 Jan. 2019 How does understanding the origins of this ideology that science is apolitical help us understand the scientific environment in the US today? Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Cold War propaganda spread the myth that science isn’t political," 11 Dec. 2018 Both of those beliefs reject the core principles of the ideology on display in Charlottesville. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "One Year Since Charlottesville: Alt-Right Candidates are on the Rise," 12 Aug. 2018 Unlike European and Latin American newspapers, the holy grail of American journalism has long been the full, accurate contextual search for truth, regardless of ideology. Alberto Ibargüen, star-telegram, "Support local news –it’s crucial to our lives and our democracy," 5 July 2018 The results are not endorsements of ideologies, but rather demands for change, a fatigue felt by people waiting for answers that simply have not arrived. Azam Ahmed And Paulina Villegas, BostonGlobe.com, "Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador will be Mexico’s next president," 2 July 2018 The typical Democratic voter views politics less through the lens of ideology, than through that of social identity (often, racial or gender identity). Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez Proved That ‘Identity Politics’ Is an Asset For Berniecrats," 27 June 2018 These are issues that have existed since the nation’s founding, including the central conflict between the ideology of white supremacy and the ideal of democracy. Bree Newsome, SELF, "The 2018 Midterm Elections Proved That Change Must Happen from the Ground Up," 15 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

17 Mar 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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