infomercial

[in-fuh-mur-shuhl, -foh-]
noun Radio and Television.
a long commercial that informs or instructs, especially in an original and entertaining manner: an infomercial on making Christmas decorations using the sponsor's brand of glue.


Origin:
blend of information and commercial

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
infomercial (ˌɪnfəˈmɜːʃəl)
 
n
a short film, usually for television, which advertises a product or service in an informative way
 
[C20: from info + (com)mercial]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
infomercial
information commercial
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

infomercial

In 1964 a gadget inventor and salesman named Ron Popeil started a company named Ronco and became instrumental in creating the television infomercial industry in the U.S. Poised between superficial talk shows and the strident tones of Madison Avenue, the half-hour ads originally existed in a kind of television netherworld--shown only late at night after most consumers had gone to bed. By 1995, however, infomercials were no longer limited to appliances such as Veg-O-Matics and the Ronco food dehydrator. Their products ranged from high-priced Barbie dolls to citrus fruit, from skin- and hair-care products to diet regimens, and from investment advice to methods for improving interpersonal relationships.

Learn more about infomercial with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
White demonstrates the technology in the vintage-looking infomercial embedded above.
Thirty years ago, infomercial producers knew choice had to be avoided.
Therefore, infomercial producers should ask for materials to back up the claims in the ad.
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