Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence.
  • noun The use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • proper noun Unscrupulously accusing people of disloyalty (as by saying they were Communists).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pejorative The mass pressure, harassment, and/or blacklisting used to pressure people to follow popular political beliefs.
  • proper noun The intense opposition, countering, fear and/or suspicion of Communism, particularly in the United States during the 1950s.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun unscrupulously accusing people of disloyalty (as by saying they were Communists)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Joseph Raymond McCarthy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Named for United States Senator Joseph McCarthy. Originates from a 1950 Washington Post political cartoon by Herbert Block.

Examples

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