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

  • transitive v. To subject to brainwashing.
  • n. The process or an instance of brainwashing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An effect upon one's memory, belief, or ideas.
  • v. To affect one's mind by using extreme mental pressure or any other mind-affecting process. (i.e. hypnosis)
  • v. To take from an electronically controlled machine its stored-up information; to erase a computer's programming. (1960)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • v. to persuade completely.
  • v. to to indoctrinate forcibly or by means of torture, or by constant psychological pressure.

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

  • v. persuade completely, often through coercion
  • v. submit to brainwashing; indoctrinate forcibly


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

Back-formation from brainwashing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A calque of the Chinese 洗脑 (Pinyin: xǐ năo), literally "to wash the brain". Usage via U.S. military during Korean War.


  • Yet he thought that "the only chance for victory over the brainwash is the right of every man to have his ideas judged one at a time."


  • We know you're trying to "brainwash" the viewers minds.

    Palin: 'My heart goes out to Huckabee'

  • He even tries to "brainwash" our school children into .. supporting his liberal leftist ideology and "worshipping" himself (Obama).

    Trippi: GOP trying to turn Obama into another Jimmy Carter

  • Those who still think that President Obama is trying to "brainwash" their children in his speech tomorrow have no doubt received their own share of brainwashing from Limbaugh, Beck, and their ilk.

    Florida GOP chair: WH 'redid the lesson plans'

  • Its conservative paradise. only men have rights, all laws are derived from Medieval religious practices, there's no government to oppress them, no public schools to "brainwash" their children, no taxes to pay, no public health care option, and they can have all the guns they want.

    Democrats thump Pawlenty for Virginia appearance

  • One top Taliban source says he has heard that the Pakistan military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) picked up Zakir in an effort to "brainwash" him.

    Catch and Release

  • The lawsuit contends that these people, along with other domestic staff, allegedly conspired to isolate Ms. Posner from family members, proceeding to "brainwash" her into believing her son was out to kill her and only the staff could be trusted.

    Little Dog, Large Estate

  • Although many are ready to leap to the conclusion that Awlaki helped to "brainwash" and "indoctrinate" these jihadi wannabes, it is much more likely that they sought out the popular Internet preacher because they already self-radicalized to the point of wanting reassurance and further guidance.

    Scott Atran: Understanding How the Privileged Become Violent Fanatics

  • (She was totally astonished at the thought that anyone would "brainwash" her.)

    Herb Hamsher: Stop Gay Apartheid

  • These entities, with direct interests in militancy, have adopted a new method to boost their outreach to common Pakistanis; they are targeting women as they find it easy to 'brainwash' an illiterate or semi-literate Pakistani female who is totally dependent on her male relatives for sustenance.

    Saad Khan: Pakistani Women: The Islamic Militants' New Target


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