mccarthyite

McCarthyism

[muh-kahr-thee-iz-uhm]
noun
1.
the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-Communist activity, in many instances unsupported by proof or based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence.
2.
the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.

Origin:
1950, Americanism; after J. R. McCarthy; see -ism

McCarthyite, noun, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
McCarthyism (məˈkɑːθɪˌɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the practice of making unsubstantiated accusations of disloyalty or Communist leanings
2.  the use of unsupported accusations for any purpose
 
[C20: after Joseph McCarthy]
 
Mc'Carthyite
 
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

McCarthyism
1950, from U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-57), leader of U.S. anti-Communist witch-hunt. The term is said to have been coined by "Washington Post" political cartoonist Herbert Block ("Herblock"). The surname is from Ir. Mac Carthaigh "son of Carthach" (Welsh Caradawc), an ancient Celtic name, also
known in its Latinized form, Caractacus (last of the British leaders to resist Rome, captured 51 C.E.)
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

McCarthyism definition


The extreme opposition to communism shown by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and his supporters in the 1940s and 1950s.

Note: McCarthyism has become a general term for the hysterical investigation of a government's opponents or the publicizing of accusations against these opponents without sufficient evidence to support the charges.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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