brainwashing

noun

brain·​wash·​ing ˈbrān-ˌwȯ-shiŋ How to pronounce brainwashing (audio)
-ˌwä-
1
: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
2
: persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship
brainwash transitive verb
brainwash noun
brainwasher noun

Examples of brainwashing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even if their minds are someday freed after Putin’s regime collapses, propagandistic brainwashing also takes time to undo. Brian Klaas, The Atlantic, 14 Mar. 2024 Coriolanus says this to Katniss in Mockingjay Part 2 after Peeta and other captive victors are extracted from the Capitol, to forewarn of Peeta's brainwashing. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 25 Sep. 2023 After some kick-ass action, Barnes seems to be at least partially released of his brainwashing by the action of the film. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 27 Feb. 2023 The standout speech, which ultimately inspires the rest of the Barbies in Barbie Land to snap out of Ken's patriarchal brainwashing, also plucked the heartstrings of another demographic — mothers. Andrea Mandell, Peoplemag, 3 Jan. 2024 The brainwashing starts with seemingly harmless, comic-book escapism. Armond White, National Review, 22 Nov. 2023 False claim that forecaster changed weather maps for 'brainwashing' operation USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response. USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2023 Advertisement Awareness is Step 1 to counteract this brainwashing. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 8 July 2023 In contrast, Bistline's defense attorney Daniel Kaiser argued that his client was a victim of severe abuse and brainwashing by Bateman. Lacey Latch, The Arizona Republic, 13 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brainwashing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

translation of Chinese (Beijing) xǐnǎo

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brainwashing was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near brainwashing

Cite this Entry

“Brainwashing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brainwashing. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

brainwashing

noun
brain·​wash·​ing ˈbrān-ˌwȯsh-iŋ, -ˌwäsh- How to pronounce brainwashing (audio)
: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
brainwash transitive verb
brainwash noun
brainwasher noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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