propaganda

noun
pro·​pa·​gan·​da | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də , ˌprō-\

Definition of propaganda

1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause also : a public action having such an effect

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Other Words from propaganda

propagandist \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˈgan-​dist , ˌprō-​ \ noun or adjective
propagandistic \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˌgan-​ˈdi-​stik , ˌprō-​ \ adjective
propagandistically \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˌgan-​ˈdi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē , ˌprō-​ \ adverb

The History of Propaganda

Propaganda is today most often used in reference to political statements, but the word comes to our language through its use in a religious context. The Congregatio de propaganda fide (“Congregation for propagating the faith”) was an organization established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV as a means of furthering Catholic missionary activity. The word propaganda is from the ablative singular feminine of propogandus, which is the gerundive of the Latin propagare, meaning “to propagate.” The first use of the word propaganda (without the rest of the Latin title) in English was in reference to this Catholic organization. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that it began to be used as a term denoting ideas or information that are of questionable accuracy as a means of advancing a cause.

Examples of propaganda in a Sentence

She didn't buy into the propaganda of her day that women had to be soft and submissive. — Maria Shriver, Time, 26 Oct. 2009 They see all clear thinking, all sense of reality, and all fineness of living, threatened on every side by propaganda, by advertisement, by film and television. — C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism, (1961) 2009 We've so bought into the mass delusion, the nutty propaganda, that now the ideal American family is one that's on steroids … — Anna Quindlen, Newsweek, 27 Apr. 2009 … just propaganda for a mode of life no one could live without access to the very impulse-suppressing, nostalgia-provoking drugs they don't want you to have … — Richard Ford, Independence Day, 1995 He was accused of spreading propaganda. The report was nothing but lies and propaganda.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This Gillette ad is nothing more than feminist left wing propaganda to demonize all men & masculinity. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Men Have Total Meltdown After Gillette Ad Asks Them to Be Respectful," 15 Jan. 2019 Although Russia often launders propaganda through state media sources like TASS none of this is technically impossible. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Report: Russia Designing Cruise Missiles with 3,000 Mile Range," 8 Jan. 2019 Earlier this week, the official China Securities Journal reported that an initial handful of games had been approved, citing the deputy director of the Communist Party’s propaganda unit. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "China lifts video game ban but not for its biggest player," 29 Dec. 2018 Vice really is going to be written off as liberal propaganda in a lot of corners. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Vice doesn’t want to humanize Dick Cheney. So instead, it (maybe) demonizes America.," 21 Dec. 2018 And this is the network sprinkled little propaganda before the midterms. Fox News, "Coons: Kavanaugh hearing should be paused for investigation," 27 Sep. 2018 The company is also owned by a longtime Republican donor, and proudly operates as a platform for conservative propaganda. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Sinclair Forced Its Local Stations to Discredit Outrage Over Family Separation," 21 June 2018 The city's political history is knotted and complex, but one thing its activists have always held in common is a talent for propaganda and an appreciation for the power of song. Kim Kelly, Chicago Reader, "The protest songs that drove the Wobblies a century ago are still lighting fires," 26 Apr. 2018 Public media has been used as a channel for government propaganda. Zoltan Simon, Bloomberg.com, "Tycoon Shuts Down Print and Radio Outlets After Orban Win," 10 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propaganda.' 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 propaganda

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for propaganda

New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV †1623

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Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for propaganda

The first known use of propaganda was in 1668

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More Definitions for propaganda

propaganda

noun

English Language Learners Definition of propaganda

usually disapproving : ideas or statements that are often false or exaggerated and that are spread in order to help a cause, a political leader, a government, etc.

propaganda

noun
pro·​pa·​gan·​da | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də \

Kids Definition of propaganda

: an organized spreading of often false ideas or the ideas spread in such a way

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