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

European governments cannot make up their minds whether Mr. Trump’s assault on multilateralism is driven by ideology, opportunism or ignorance. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "As Trump Arrives, Europe Frets Over His Designs on Postwar Global Order," 10 July 2018 And who are not driven so much by ideology, but are willing to be public servants for all America, not just their own base. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "A civic journey: From immigrant to citizen to voter," 2 July 2018 The displacement of this kind of conservatism by political ideology, religious fundamentalism, and constitutional recklessness should not just be of concern to those on the center-right. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 Yet Nixon was guided by a Cold War ideology that placed a value on opposing communism, and positioning the democratic, free-market United States as a positive, alternative model. Eli Stokols, latimes.com, "Trump voices admiration and envy of Kim Jong Un, underscoring his respect for autocrats," 15 June 2018 There were 1,102 crimes motivated by religious ideology in 2017, a new category. Washington Post, "Crime drops in Germany although citizens still feel unsafe," 10 May 2018 Arshy Mann, a reporter for the Canadian LGBT news source Xtra, noted that if Minassian was driven by the extremist incel ideology, his attack should be classified as terrorism. Linley Sanders, Teen Vogue, "What You Need to Know About "Incels"," 25 Apr. 2018 After a few years a feud with Gifford led Dever to quit and denounce the Klan, but not to reject its ideology or methods. Longreads, "Oregon’s Racist Past," 12 July 2018 Open your eyes to more than your shopworn ideology. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 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

13 Oct 2018

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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