witch hunt


Definition of witch hunt

1 : a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft
2 : the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (such as political opponents) with unpopular views

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Other Words from witch hunt

witch-hunter \ ˈwich-​ˌhən-​tər How to pronounce witch hunt (audio) \ noun
witch-hunting \ ˈwich-​ˌhən-​tiŋ How to pronounce witch hunt (audio) \ noun or adjective

Examples of witch hunt in a Sentence

He was the victim of a congressional witch hunt against Communists.
Recent Examples on the Web Trump feels impeachment could have a boomerang effect on Democrats, one person said, while another dismissed it as the latest Democratic witch hunt. Tribune News Service, Arkansas Online, "Trump said to plan defiant final week amid push for ouster," 11 Jan. 2021 Paxton has cast the allegations against him as a witch hunt motivated by more moderate factions of the state Republican Party. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Ken Paxton has had Trump’s back. But the Texas attorney general’s latest gambit has failed.," 12 Dec. 2020 In a news conference after his release from jail, Chody, who is in a heated re-election race this November, characterized the indictments as a political witch hunt led by prosecutors desperate to save face. NBC News, "'Live PD' was canceled. But in one Texas county, its twisted legacy lives on," 11 Oct. 2020 But if a coalition of Republican states and the Trump administration file a lawsuit against Google without buy-in from Democrats, that could create an opening for Google to portray the case as a politically motivated witch hunt. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "There’s a partisan schism over the timing of a Google antitrust lawsuit," 3 Sep. 2020 At the peak of the McCarthy-era's witch hunt for Communists in May 1953, a Senate subcommittee summoned Scientific American managing editor Leon Svirsky. Alfred W. Mccoy, Scientific American, "How an Article about the H-Bomb Landed Scientific American in the Middle of the Red Scare," 18 Aug. 2020 The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing and accuses the media and law enforcement of a witch hunt to oust him from office. Aron Heller, Star Tribune, "Israeli PM's uneasy alliance seems headed toward collapse," 11 Aug. 2020 Few writers have recreated the pedantic trappings of university faculty quite so faithfully as McCarthy, who crafts an interdepartmental witch hunt like no other. Adrienne Westenfeld, Town & Country, "The Ultimate Preppy College Reading List," 3 Oct. 2014 Baker believes that the memorial could turn Americans toward greater understanding of what a witch hunt truly means in today’s world full of fear of terrorism. Christine Woodside, Smithsonian, "The Site of the Salem Witch Trial Hangings Finally Has a Memorial," 13 July 2017

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

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for witch hunt

Time Traveler

The first known use of witch hunt was in 1885

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Statistics for witch hunt

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Witch hunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch%20hunt. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for witch hunt

witch hunt


English Language Learners Definition of witch hunt

disapproving : the act of unfairly looking for and punishing people who are accused of having opinions that are believed to be dangerous or evil

More from Merriam-Webster on witch hunt

Nglish: Translation of witch hunt for Spanish Speakers

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