newspeak

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noun, often capitalized new·speak \ˈnü-ˌspēk, ˈnyü-\

Definition of newspeak

  1. :  propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings

newspeak was our Word of the Day on 10/02/2011. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of newspeak from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'newspeak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

newspeak Comes From 1984

The term "newspeak" was coined by George Orwell in his 1949 anti-utopian novel 1984. In Orwell's fictional totalitarian state, Newspeak was a language favored by the minions of Big Brother and, in Orwell's words, "designed to diminish the range of thought." Newspeak was characterized by the elimination or alteration of certain words, the substitution of one word for another, the interchangeability of parts of speech, and the creation of words for political purposes. The word has caught on in general use to refer to confusing or deceptive bureaucratic jargon.

Origin and Etymology of newspeak

Newspeak, a language “designed to diminish the range of thought,” in the novel 1984 (1949) by George Orwell


NEWSPEAK Defined for English Language Learners

newspeak

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noun

Definition of newspeak for English Language Learners

  • : speech or writing that uses words in a way that changes their meaning especially to persuade people to think a certain way


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