- The definition of ideology is the set of ideas and beliefs that are important to a person, a group, or a culture.
An example of an ideology is a candidate's statement about their beliefs.
- Archaic the study of the nature and origin of ideas
- thinking or theorizing of an idealistic, abstract, or impractical nature; fanciful speculation
- the doctrines, opinions, or way of thinking of an individual, class, etc.; specif., the body of ideas on which a particular political, economic, or social system is based
Origin of ideologyFrench idéologie: see ideo- and amp; -logy
Origin of ideologyFrench idéologie : idéo-, ideo- + -logie, -logy.
Original meaning “study of ideas” (following the etymology), today primarily used to mean “doctrine”. For example “communist ideology” generally refers to “communist doctrine”; study of communist ideas instead being “communist philosophy”, or more clearly “philosophy of communism”; only rarely “ideology of communism”.
From French idéologie, from idéo- + -logie (equivalent to English ideo- + -logy). Coined 1796 by Destutt de Tracy. Modern sense of “doctrine” attributed to use of related idéologue (“ideologue”) by Napoleon Bonaparte as a term of abuse towards political opponents in early 1800s.