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 noun
witch-hunting 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 For instance, after the UK bank Barclays received an anonymous letter raising concerns about CEO Jes Staley’s decision to hire an old friend as a senior executive, Staley went on a witch hunt to identify the whistleblower. Ari Yampolsky, Quartz, "Trump’s whistleblower tactics are straight out of America’s corrupt corporate playbook," 8 Nov. 2019 In numerical terms, Scotland’s witch hunts were severe. National Geographic, "A royal obsession with black magic started Europe's most brutal witch hunts," 16 Oct. 2019 Which makes sense because witchcraft (and witch hunts) are all about power. Wired, "Trump's Presidency Has Spawned a New Generation of Witches," 30 Oct. 2019 Both witch hunts focused on the posher sorts who populated the Foreign Service in those days. Doug Henwood, Harper's magazine, "To Serve Is to Rule," 28 Oct. 2019 According to Edinburgh Live’s Hilary Mitchell, Scotland experienced four major witch hunts between roughly 1590 and 1727, when Janet Horne, the last Scot to be executed for witchcraft, was burned at the stake. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "This Map Shows the Scale of 16th- and 17th-Century Scottish Witch Hunts," 26 Sep. 2019 The couple pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned, and Rep. Hunter has maintained that the prosecution is a politically motivated witch hunt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Delay in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s criminal case puts crimp in GOP primary calendar," 22 Aug. 2019 Trump has called the various legal challenges and investigations presidential harassment and a partisan witch hunt. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Hope Hicks, former Trump aide, stands by House testimony despite demand for clarification," 15 Aug. 2019 Quinn said Amazon has since changed its explanation for terminating the contract to blaming Allen for making statements saying that the #MeToo movement should not become a witch hunt. Larry Neumeister, The Seattle Times, "Amazon: Woody Allen’s #MeToo comments wrecked movie deal," 15 Apr. 2019

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

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Witch hunt.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch%20hunt. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with witch hunt

Nglish: Translation of witch hunt for Spanish Speakers

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