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1. The practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence.
2. The use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.

[After Joseph Raymond McCarthy.]

Mc·Car′thy·ist n.


1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the practice of making unsubstantiated accusations of disloyalty or Communist leanings
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the use of unsupported accusations for any purpose
[C20: after Joseph McCarthy]
McˈCarthyite n, adj


(məˈkɑr θiˌɪz əm)

the use of unsubstantiated accusations or unfair investigative techniques in an attempt to expose disloyalty or subversion.
[1950, Amer.; after J. R. McCarthy; see -ism]
Mc•Car′thy•ite`, n.


1. U.S. the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-Communist activity, often unsupported or based on doubtful evidence.
2. any attempt to restrict political criticism or individual dissent by claiming it to be unpatriotic or pro-Communist.
See also: Politics
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.McCarthyism - unscrupulously accusing people of disloyalty (as by saying they were Communists)
witch-hunt - searching out and harassing dissenters


[məˈkɑːθɪɪzəm] N (US) (Pol) → macartismo m
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References in periodicals archive ?
Back at the height of the McCarthyist Red Scare, a still occasionally articulate Guthrie described his new home, a facility for mental patients, as the last bastion of freedom in the land.
Like Orwell, he did not follow any "line," be it Communist or McCarthyist.
Neidich's pointed citation of "palinopsia," the phenomenon's recursive pathological strain, was perhaps intended as a wry criticism of the era's McCarthyist hysteria.
On substance his 'enemies list' approach to suffocate opinions he and his financial supporters disapprove of is plainly unconstitutional in its McCarthyist vision.
That sufficed to render him an unperson during the McCarthyist phase - and effectively for posterity.
By the late 1950s, when work on the TV movie version began, the McCarthyist campaign had subsided enough to allow blacklisted writers like Edward Chodorov to get full credit for their work.
That being said, he must at least be given credit for recognizing the McCarthyist frenzy of the AKP.
Second, craven apologists for the state surveillance machine--such as Senator Dianne Feinstein of California--fell back to a prepared defensive position, essentially the old McCarthyist line: There is no harm in collecting the information; if you are not guilty, you have nothing to fear.
During the McCarthyist period and the cold war, police forces stepped up surveillance and entrapment.
Israel and closely linked Zionist organizations have since gone so far as to work with US university administrators, police -- including local police and the FBI, and even politicians to engage in a McCarthyist campaign of repression.
For example, Lower saw the anti-communist extremism of Irish American Catholics as behind the rise of McCarthyist "fascism," noting that in Canada "we have managed to tame even our Irish Catholics, one-half of one of whom is now our Prime Minister [Louis St.
The McCarthyist dictate that literature be free of politics was certainly part of that.