witch hunt

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witch hunt

An attempt to blame and punish people who hold unpopular views and opinions, often under the guise of some other investigation. The ruling party's witch hunt against its detractors sparked a civil war.
See also: hunt, witch

witch hunt

a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views.
The expression was inspired by the persecution in former times of people believed to be witches, often culminating in execution by burning.
See also: hunt, witch
References in periodicals archive ?
Normal admission prices - pounds 1.50 for adults and 50p for children - apply during the halerm week, although there is no extra charge for the witchhunt.
The scripteur's conservatism, in other words, led him to try to preserve the openness to discourse from different orders and milieux that had characterized writing while he was growing up, and that disappeared in the wake of the Reformation, the Council of Trent, and the witchhunt" (187).
Neither the obvious hypocrisy of the press nor the irrationalityof the witchhunt should dispose of the problem the Hart scandal presents.
killed by an Iraqi mob yesterday slated a "witchhunt" against our troops.
Lawyers for Kerins and Flannery claimed the committee was on a witchhunt and they would not get a fair hearing.
MY enjoyment of the Winter Olympics was completely ruined by the blatant witchhunt against Scots speed skater Elise Christie.
A DAY after senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka wrote a protest letter to the Haryana chief secretary alleging a witchhunt against him for cancelling a land deal featuring Sonia Gandhi's son- in- law Robert Vadra, the state government has readied a third chargesheet against him.
"They would be better using resources to provide quality services for citizens, rather than conduct a witchhunt against their own councillors who felt the need to speak out."
It was in fact John Major who started the war, because the initial war didn't end until recently, but why let facts get in the way of the Blair witchhunt? I read recently of the advancement of Iraq's Kurdish region since Blair's intervention.
Social and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin said the Government "had to choose between a 'witchhunt' or an inquiry that gets resuslts".
Faith schools are falling victim to a Government witchhunt, according to a report published today.
But Hughes said: "As far as I am concerned I am the victim of a witchhunt."
Please stop this witchhunt on innocent dogs who have been made like that by their owners.
So it is that, at the dawn of democracy in the West, the first recorded political witchhunt takes place.
Postgraduate history student Amelia Sceats has been investigating the region's stance on the 17th century witchhunt frenzy.