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

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 The ideologies of Black activists, like W.E.B. Dubois, are prevalent. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "'The Hate U Give’ Is the Movie Version of Growing Up Black in America," 3 Oct. 2018 The ideology of civility means highlighting the humanity of figures like Kavanaugh, rather than the likely impact of their policies. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "It really doesn’t matter that Brett Kavanaugh is a great carpool dad.," 10 July 2018 The mix-and-match corporatist ideology of Kavanaugh and the other finalists freed Trump to make his Supreme Court pick based on the things that really matter…to Trump. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "The unbearable whiteness of being Trump's judicial picks | Will Bunch," 10 July 2018 Similarly, investigations into the massacres in Parkland, Florida, and Sutherland Springs, Texas, have turned up no connections to radical Islamist ideology. Lisa Rose, CNN, "US has 1,000 open ISIS investigations but a steep drop in prosecutions," 16 May 2018 But Kushner, seeing La Mazière as attracted to violence rather than to ideology, thought that a Communist revolution would suit him fine. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Rachel Kushner’s Immersive Fiction," 23 Apr. 2018 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

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

3 Feb 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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