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[prop-uh-gan-duh] /ˌprɒp əˈgæn də/
information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. a committee of cardinals, established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, having supervision over foreign missions and the training of priests for these missions.
  2. a school (College of Propaganda) established by Pope Urban VIII for the education of priests for foreign missions.
Archaic. an organization or movement for the spreading of propaganda.
Origin of propaganda
1710-20; < New Latin, short for congregātiō dē propāgandā fidē congregation for propagating the faith; propāgandā, ablative singular feminine gerundive of propāgāre; see propagate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for propaganda
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "If I work at all, it ought to be this propaganda job," Eric suggested.

    The Education of Eric Lane Stephen McKenna
  • propaganda for the war interests, propaganda for the financiers.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • The planetary rulers had taken no chances of tampering with their propaganda.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • But somehow the telepathy stuff didn't work at all according to propaganda.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • If the Socialist movement is to succeed in America, it must recognize this fact in its propaganda.

    Socialism John Spargo
British Dictionary definitions for propaganda


the organized dissemination of information, allegations, etc, to assist or damage the cause of a government, movement, etc
such information, allegations, etc
Derived Forms
propagandism, noun
propagandist, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, use of propāgandā in the New Latin title Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith


(RC Church) a congregation responsible for directing the work of the foreign missions and the training of priests for these
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for propaganda

1718, "committee of cardinals in charge of Catholic missionary work," short for Congregatio de Propaganda Fide "congregation for propagating the faith," a committee of cardinals established 1622 by Gregory XV to supervise foreign missions. The word is properly the ablative fem. gerundive of Latin propagare (see propagation). Hence, "any movement to propagate some practice or ideology" (1790). Modern political sense dates from World War I, not originally pejorative. Meaning "material or information propagated to advance a cause, etc." is from 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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propaganda in Culture

propaganda definition

Official government communications to the public that are designed to influence opinion. The information may be true or false, but it is always carefully selected for its political effect.

The 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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