a theory that rejects the standard explanation for an event and instead credits a covert group or organization with carrying out a secret plot: One popular conspiracy theory accuses environmentalists of sabotage in last year's mine collapse.
a belief that a particular unexplained event was caused by such a covert group: A number of conspiracy theories have already emerged, purporting to explain last week's disappearance of a commercial flight over international waters.
the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of deceptive plots that are largely unknown to the general public: The more I learn about the activities of intelligence agencies, the less far-fetched I find many geopolitical conspiracy theories.
- conspiracy theorist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use conspiracy theory in a sentence
If any of your relationships have ended because of differences over political beliefs or your stance on masks, anti-racism protests or conspiracy theories, you may be struggling to name the sense of loss and grief you are feeling.Politics and conspiracy theories are fracturing relationships. Here’s how to grieve those broken bonds. | Jeff Schrum | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
In recent years, we’ve seen the dangers of conspiracy theories spreading unchecked across the internet, from QAnon to anti-vaxxers.Twenty-Six Words Created the Internet. What Will It Take to Save It? | Stephen Engelberg | February 9, 2021 | ProPublica
It will take an all-out national effort to dismantle the radicalization pipeline that has planted conspiracy theories in the heads of millions of Americans and inspired last month's attack on the Capitol, experts tell Axios.
The problem of online abuse and misinformation became impossible to ignore over the last year, with harmful online conspiracy theories fueling the pandemic, and political lies threatening the election.How a Democratic plan to reform Section 230 could backfire | Bobbie Johnson | February 8, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
Don't make them famous, help them raise money or elevate conspiracy theories.The media can’t ignore Marjorie Taylor Greene. Can they figure out how to cover her? | Elahe Izadi | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
But at the heart of this “Truther” conspiracy theory is the idea that “someone” wants to destroy Bill Cosby.
To complicate matters further, the only people who seemed to have any desire to go after Booker were of the conspiracy-theory ilk.The Ugly Truth About Cory Booker, New Jersey’s Golden Boy | Olivia Nuzzi | October 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Every conspiracy theory starts with an information vacuum, which then tumbles into fantasy.The Intern Who Birthed The KAL007 Conspiracy Theories | Tim Mak | September 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The number is unusually high for a conspiracy theory, suggesting just how fearful Poland is about Russian intentions.Did Putin Blow Up the Whole Polish Government in 2010? A Second Look. | Will Cathcart | April 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The basis for the modern-day sovereign belief system is a conspiracy theory that is as outrageous as it is confusing.
Needless to say, the conspiracy theory has long been discarded.The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915 | Basil L. Gildersleeve
British Dictionary definitions for conspiracy theory
the belief that the government or a covert organization is responsible for an event that is unusual or unexplained, esp when any such involvement is denied
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