Definition of doublethink in US English:



  • The acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.

    • ‘The doublethink employed by the author is almost beyond belief - he basically states that the DI wishes to attack the scientific method, and then claims that they aren't trying to attack the scientific method.’
    • ‘The latest amazing example of Left-leaning doublethink by a political psychologist is here.’
    • ‘Are we being told that he was capable of a sort of spiritual doublethink, persuading himself of the religious truth through his desire to believe?’
    • ‘When it comes to concern for the effect of intervention on the locals, doublethink can really go into overdrive.’
    • ‘A nice man with a mastery of doublethink, perhaps, but you really believed that he didn't grasp the negative implications of his own political strategies.’
    • ‘By an amazing exploit of doublethink, he manages to convince himself that theistic explanations are simple explanations.’
    • ‘With its numerous examples of corporate doublethink and trendy PR jargon, this is the kind of book which bandies round words like ‘talent’ and ‘quality’ without actually bothering to wonder what they mean.’
    • ‘Instead of going on peace demonstrations and fulminating about the horrendous injustice and doublethink perpetrated by all participants, I should have been figuring the angles for profit opportunities!’
    • ‘I find that there's sometimes a curious case of doublethink going on in which the person with a low opinion of themselves realises at the same time that they are not quite as bad as they make themselves out to be.’
    • ‘This novel is sure to make you doublethink Orwell's version.’
    • ‘Understanding this merely requires a grand exercise in Orwellian doublethink, Greek sophistry and a uniquely Lawloresque take on the world.’
    • ‘His mind hovered for a moment round the doubtful date on the page, and then fetched up with a bump against the Newspeak word doublethink.’
    • ‘Okay, he says, these societies may not become democracies as we know them, but they can become places where people can live free of doublethink, free of the fear of the knock on the door from the secret police.’
    • ‘Ostensibly, she is the staunchest defender of the values of the country against those of the city, but her attitude reveals a degree of doublethink which suggests that her loyalty to tradition is not as steadfast as it might seem.’
    • ‘This doublethink is at the heart of forked-tongued politics.’
    • ‘The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated.’
    • ‘It's like doublethink or whatever, like in 1984.’
    • ‘Witness this lovely specimen of bigoted doublethink.’
    • ‘Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.’
    • ‘This political doublethink seems to have struck down all sorts of people in high places.’


1949: coined by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.