witch hunt
noun Date: 1885 1. a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft 2. the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (as political opponents) with unpopular views • witch-hunter nounwitch-hunting noun or adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Witch-hunt — Witch trial redirects here. For the song by Rush, see Fear series. For the novel by Ian Rankin, see Witch Hunt (novel). A witch hunt is a search for witches or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic, mass hysteria and mob lynching,… …   Wikipedia

  • Witch hunt — may refer to: * Witch hunt, a search for suspected or alleged witches, or similar political accusations * Witch Hunt , the Ian Rankin novel (writing as Jack Harvey) * Witch Hunt , the movie, starring Dennis Hopper, loosely based on the work of H …   Wikipedia

  • witch hunt — witch′ hunt or witch′ hunt n. an intensive, often highly publicized effort to discover and expose those who are disloyal, subversive, etc., as in a government or political party, usu. on the basis of slight or doubtful evidence • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang

  • witch-hunt — witch ,hunt noun uncount an attempt to find all the people in a particular group in order to punish them or treat them unfairly: He called the crackdown a witch hunt …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • witch hunt — witch hunter. witch hunting, n. an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence. Also, witch hunt. [1925 30] * * * …   Universalium

  • witch-hunt — n an attempt to find and punish people in a society or organization whose opinions are regarded as wrong or dangerous used to show disapproval ▪ anti Communist witch hunts …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • witch hunt — 1640 in the literal sense; the extended sense is attested from 1932 (in witch hunting), popularized in Cold War anti Communist hysteria …   Etymology dictionary

  • witch-hunt — witch hunts N COUNT: oft N against n (disapproval) A witch hunt is an attempt to find and punish a particular group of people who are being blamed for something, often simply because of their opinions and not because they have actually done… …   English dictionary

  • witch hunt — n. [so named in allusion to persecutions of persons alleged to be witches] an investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover disloyalty, subversive political activity, etc., usually conducted with much publicity and often relying upon… …   English World dictionary

  • witch-hunt — ► NOUN ▪ a campaign directed against a person or group holding views considered unorthodox or a threat to society …   English terms dictionary

  • witch hunt — n hounding, hue and cry, McCarthyism * * * witch hunter. witch hunting, n. an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence. Also, witch hunt.… …   Useful english dictionary

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