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
propagandistplay \-dist\ noun or adjective
propagandisticplay \-ˌgan-ˈdis-tik\ adjective
propagandisticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
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
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
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
He was accused of spreading propaganda.
The report was nothing but lies and propaganda.
Recent Examples of propaganda from the Web
Such propaganda helps domestically by boosting Kim Jong Un as a titan bestriding the world stage.
The propaganda battle between the Koreas escalated on Wednesday, even as Asian stock markets appeared to shrug off the latest tensions.
Paltrow’s doomsday propaganda is far more implicit, yet in order to sell its products and methods well Goop must strike fear into the hearts of its devotees.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, there's similar stuff going on in the newly insane state of North Carolina, where the state legislature is funneling public money to anti-choice propaganda mills.
And very different from Chairman Mao’s language or party propaganda.
Not far away, Edward Wittkofski, of Shelton, enlightened visitors about Wallace's Circus, a curious case of wartime propaganda.
He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korean state media said.
Russia experts had begun to see a troubling pattern of propaganda in which fictitious news stories, assumed to be generated by Moscow, proliferated across social-media platforms.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of propaganda
New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV †1623
First Known Use: 1668See Words from the same year
PROPAGANDA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of propaganda for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of propaganda for Students
: an organized spreading of often false ideas or the ideas spread in such a way
Seen and Heard
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