General English


  • noun an attempt to spread an idea through clever use of the media and other forms of communication

Information & Library Science

  • noun information that is often untrue and biased, published and disseminated to influence people

Media Studies

  • noun media text that is designed to persuade its audience of a particular belief or idea


  • noun a selective release of information (whether true or untrue), in order to influence public opinion


  • noun statements which describe the policies or actions of a government in a way which persuades people to believe they are true and correct

Origin & History of “propaganda”

English gets the word propaganda from the term Propaganda Fide, the name of a Roman catholic organization charged with the spreading of the gospel. this meant literally ‘propagating the faith’, prōpāgānda being the feminine gerundive of Latin prōpāgāre, source of English propagate (16th c.). Originally prōpāgāre was a botanical verb, as its English descendant remains, only secondarily broadening out metaphorically to ‘extend, spread’. It was derived from the noun prōpāgo ‘cutting, scion’, which in turn was formed from the prefix prō- ‘forth’ and the base *pāg- ‘fix’ (source of English pagan, page, pale ‘stake’, etc).