View synonyms for disinformation


[ dis-in-fer-mey-shuhn, dis-in- ]


  1. false information, as about a country's military strength or plans, disseminated by a government or intelligence agency in a hostile act of tactical political subversion:

    Soviet disinformation drove a wedge between the United States and its Indonesian allies.

  2. deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda:

    Special interest groups muddied the waters of the debate, spreading disinformation on social media.


/ ˌdɪsɪnfəˈmeɪʃən /


  1. false information intended to deceive or mislead
“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 History and Origins

Origin of disinformation1

First recorded in 1965–70; dis- 1 + information, as translation of Russian dezinformátsiya, from French désinform(er) “to misinform” + Russian -atsiya (ultimately from Latin -ātiō; -ation )
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Example Sentences

Putting Verify’s brand in different formats and onto new platforms will allow its fact-checking content to reach more people in local communities vulnerable to misinformation and disinformation, which is false information spread regardless of intent.

From Digiday

One of the most prolific sources of vaccine disinformation, Doctores por la Verdad, or Doctors for Truth, appears to have started in Spain and moved to Argentina and a dozen other countries, peddling myths that eventually reached the United States.

Meanwhile, Democrats tend to be intent on changing Section 230 to suppress extremist speech, ad messages or disinformation that could lead to harassment or harm against vulnerable people.

From Digiday

Most dangerously, the disinformation often contains a grain of truth to make it more believable.

From Time

Today, like the 1940s, we must confront dangerous concentrations of unaccountable media power and attendant disinformation about public health, elections, insurrections and other life and death issues.

He said the news of his appointment was not true, that it was disinformation spread by “some intelligence agency and my rivals.”

The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas disputes this version of events and has characterized it as disinformation.

At your press conference yesterday, you referred to Russian disinformation concerning the Ukrainian situation.

But, with all due respect to the Putinized founts of disinformation, that is not where things stand at the moment.

One suggested explanation, has been the surge of unchecked disinformation available online.

Deception, misinformation, and disinformation are key components in this assault on the will and understanding of the opponent.

Deception, disinformation, and misinformation will become major elements of this systemic approach.

Middlemen thrive of disinformation, misinformation and lack of information.

Deception, disinformation, and misinformation would be applied massively.

Deception, disinformation, and guile are more crucial in this regime.


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Disinformation Vs. Misinformation

What's the difference between disinformation and misinformation?

Disinformation refers to false information that’s spread with the specific intent of misleading or deceiving people. Misinformation more generally refers to false information, regardless of whether or not it’s intended to mislead or deceive people.

Due to their similarity, the terms are sometimes used in overlapping ways. All disinformation is misinformation, but not all misinformation is disinformation. Disinformation is the more specific of the two because it always implies that the false information is being provided or spread on purpose.

Disinformation is especially used in the context of large-scale deception, such as a disinformation campaign by a government that targets the population of another country. Misinformation can be spread with the intent to trick people or just because someone incorrectly thinks it’s true.

This distinction can also be seen in the difference between their verb forms, disinform and misinform. Disinform, which is much less commonly used, means to intentionally provide or spread false information. To misinform someone is to provide them with wrong information, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it was intentional.

One way to remember the difference between disinformation and misinformation is to remember that disinformation is not just false but dishonest, while misinformation can be a mistake.

Here’s an example of disinformation and misinformation used correctly in a sentence.

Example: The intelligence report concluded that the rumors spread prior to the election were not simply the result of misinformation but rather of coordinated disinformation by a foreign power.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between disinformation and misinformation.

Quiz yourself on disinformation vs. misinformation!

Should disinformation or misinformation be used in the following sentence?

The government spread _____ about the location of their army in hopes of tricking the enemy.