propaganda

noun
pro·​pa·​gan·​da | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də How to pronounce propaganda (audio) , 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 How to pronounce propagandist (audio) , ˌprō-​ \ noun or adjective
propagandistic \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˌgan-​ˈdi-​stik How to pronounce propagandistic (audio) , ˌprō-​ \ adjective
propagandistically \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˌgan-​ˈdi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce propagandistically (audio) , 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

There's a piece that came out Monday calling all of those pictures a treasure trove of right-wing propaganda. Katie Halper, Teen Vogue, "Lucy Flores: Biden's Unwanted Touching Should be Part of #MeToo Conversations," 6 Apr. 2019 White supremacist groups have ramped up their use of propaganda to spread racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic messages, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "Hateful Propaganda From White Supremacists Spreads," 5 Mar. 2019 Although Russian state media is often a purveyor of propaganda, this appears to be a real development. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Russian Navy Is Fitting Ships with Barf-Inducing Lights," 4 Feb. 2019 And there are a lot of different answers to that question, but one of the most important is this issue of Cold War propaganda. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Cold War propaganda spread the myth that science isn’t political," 11 Dec. 2018 Gay pride parade requests are repeatedly denied, and a number of LGBTQ activists have been convicted under the propaganda law. NBC News, "Gay rights activists protest at World Cup with 'hidden' rainbow flag," 10 July 2018 All of it was propaganda, spurred by Roosevelt’s Office of War Information. Winston Groom, WSJ, "Unsavory Allies, From Stalin to the Saudis," 4 Dec. 2018 Writing for contemporary art magazine frieze, Mike Pepi suggests the promotion of AI creativity is essentially propaganda for corporate interests. James Vincent, The Verge, "What algorithmic art can teach us about artificial intelligence," 6 Nov. 2018 Mendoza’s apparent closeness to Duterte has prompted allegations that his series is propaganda for the bloody campaign. Time, "A New Netflix Series Tells the Story of the Philippines' Drug War. But Its Critics Are Condemning Amo as Propaganda," 30 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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Statistics for propaganda

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce propaganda (audio) \

Kids Definition of propaganda

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

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