Word of the Day : October 2, 2011


noun, often capitalized NOO-speek


: propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings : double-talk


"With all the twists and turns of newspeak, it's virtually impossible to figure out exactly what any candidate stands for anymore," complained Brian.

"The cramped media room at Emerald Gardens was packed with sweaty print and radio reporters and half-a-dozen network cameras as Freddie Hutt offered up a tutorial in the language of sports management newspeak -- a language that made it seem as if the St. Pats had no responsibility in starting the bench-clearing brawl but had been innocent bystanders." -- From Michael McKinley's 2011 novel The Penalty Killing

Did You Know?

The term "newspeak" was coined by George Orwell in his 1949 anti-utopian novel 1984. In Orwell's fictional totalitarian state, Newspeak was a language favored by the minions of Big Brother and, in Orwell's words, "designed to diminish the range of thought." Newspeak was characterized by the elimination or alteration of certain words, the substitution of one word for another, the interchangeability of parts of speech, and the creation of words for political purposes. The word has caught on in general use to refer to confusing or deceptive bureaucratic jargon.

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "doughty," our Word of the Day from September 18? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!