- 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.
- the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.
Origin of McCarthyism
Examples from the Web for mccarthyism
McCarthyism was the norm: a threat to democracy laid to rest by the legislative branch of the American government.
The NRA is certainly less of an evil than slavery, but is it really less ugly than McCarthyism?
But by 1953, with McCarthyism and the second Red Scare in full swing, the FBI moved from surreptitious research to direct contact.Inside Howard Zinn's FBI Files
July 30, 2010
- the practice of making unsubstantiated accusations of disloyalty or Communist leanings
- the use of unsupported accusations for any purpose
Word Origin and History for mccarthyism
1950, with -ism + name of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957), leader of U.S. anti-Communist agitation. The term is said to have been coined by "Washington Post" political cartoonist Herbert Block ("Herblock"). The surname is from Irish 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.)