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 Each embattled president has responded to impeachment in a distinctly different way, though in all three recent cases, the process began with rote denials and protestations about witch hunts. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: How the decline of trust shaped Trump, Nixon and Clinton’s endgames," 13 Nov. 2019 Braun was the first victim of Augsburg’s witch hunts. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "After Almost 500 Years, the World’s Oldest Social Housing Complex Is Still Going Strong," 20 Dec. 2019 The majority party talked somberly about the rule of law while the president’s party complained of partisan witch hunts. BostonGlobe.com, "Clinton’s impeachment was nail-biter. Trump’s grip on GOP means his won’t be - The Boston Globe," 15 Dec. 2019 Trump has continually decried the probe into his Ukraine dealings as a sham, and showing up at this hearing, or sending a lawyer, might in his mind only legitimize the inquiry he’s dubbed a witch hunt. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Trump has been invited to the impeachment inquiry. Will he decry it via tweet instead?," 27 Nov. 2019 One is McCarthy's anti-communist witch hunt, the other NBC's push for lower-brow entertainment. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Next Act's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor' evokes golden moments in TV comedy," 23 Nov. 2019 During the Salem witch hunts, common folklore said that witches transformed into their familiars (black cats). Lisa Stardust, Teen Vogue, "4 Halloween Myths Dispelled by a Witch," 22 Oct. 2019 Democrats accused Ken Starr, the independent counsel, of a witch hunt and insisted that the president’s decision to lie about his affair with an intern was not impeachable. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "With White House Absent, Impeachment Devolves Into Partisan Brawl," 8 Dec. 2019 Netanyahu has called the allegations part of a witch hunt, lashing out against the media, police, prosecutors and the justice system. Fox News, "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be indicted by Israeli Justice Ministry," 22 Nov. 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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Witch hunt.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch-hunt. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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

Comments on witch hunt

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