[ kuhn-spir-uh-sist ]
/ kənˈspɪr ə sɪst /
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a person who believes in or supports a conspiracy theory.
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Also called con·spir·a·to·ri·al·ist [kuhn-spir-uh-tawr-ee-uh-list, ‐tohr-]. /kənˌspɪr əˈtɔr i ə lɪst, ‐toʊr-/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does conspiracist mean?

A conspiracist is someone who creates, promotes, or believes in a conspiracy theory—an explanation of an event that claims it was the result of a secret and often complex and evil plot by multiple people.

Conspiracy theories and the conspiracists who promote or formulate them often reject the standard or accepted explanation of unexplained or unusual events and claim that they are the doing of evil conspirators secretly conspiring behind the scenes.

Conspiracy most commonly means a secret plan by multiple people to do something evil or illegal. Conspiracy can also refer to the act of making such plans—the act of conspiring—or to the group making the plans. The people involved can be called conspirators.

In conspiracy theory, the word theory is used in a general way to refer to a proposed explanation that has not been proven. But conspiracists don’t usually treat such theories as just guesses—they often promote them as fact, no matter how bizarre or far-fetched they may be.

Most conspiracy theories involve supposedly secret knowledge of the supposedly secret and evil dealings of powerful people, especially politicians, government officials, billionaires, and celebrities. Such plots are often claimed to have the goal of controlling world events and ordinary people.

A close synonym of conspiracist is conspiracy theorist. A less common synonym is conspiratorialist.

Example: Conspiracists don’t care that their theories have been repeatedly debunked—in fact, they take any criticism as proof that they’re right.

Where does conspiracist come from?

The first records of the word conspiracist come from the early 1970s. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb conspīrāre, meaning “to act in harmony” or “to conspire.” This comes from the combination of con-, meaning “together,” and spīrāre, “to breathe.” The suffix -ist indicates a person who practices something or holds certain principles.

When people hear the word conspiracy, they often think of shady people making shady plans in shady backrooms. The word typically implies both secrecy and evil—people involved in conspiracies are up to no good and they’re trying to hide it. Most conspiracy theories are about this kind of thing. The classic image of a conspiracy theory is that of a bulletin board with strings connecting photos of supposed conspirators and newspaper clippings of seemingly random events. In this way, conspiracists often ignore the obvious or simple explanation in favor of an interpretation that tries to tie together unrelated elements in a convoluted way. Conspiracists are often drawn to such theories because of the appeal of having secret knowledge (the “real” story) that the rest of the population is unaware of. The internet has increased the reach of conspiracy theories, raising serious concerns about how they contribute to the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

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What are some other forms related to conspiracist?

What are some synonyms for conspiracist?

What are some words that share a root or word element with conspiracist

What are some words that often get used in discussing conspiracist?

How is conspiracist used in real life?

The term conspiracist is typically used in a negative way to criticize a person for promoting absurd explanations of events.



Try using conspiracist!

Is conspiracist used correctly in the following sentence?

You know the world is weird when the real news reads like a conspiracist’s blog post.

How to use conspiracist in a sentence