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 ?
Levack, for one, provides a clue to partially answering this, i.e., the "fear of rebellion." For at least in late-medieval or early-modern Europe, it was widely held that "Rebellion is the mother of witchcraft." And the fear was not groundless, for "the numerous calamities of the late fourteenth century, most especially the Black Death, may have encouraged intellectuals to assume greater demonic intervention in the world..." (9) Equally confusing is the decline of witchcraft beliefs and the witch hunt. (10)
To this reviewer, Waite is overly insistent about the connection between the motives and methods of Anabaptist persecution and the witch hunt that occurred in the period after Anabaptist executions subsided.
Sebastian's Angels group accused the cardinal of conducting a "witch hunt" against homosexually active priests, actually recommending that the future Pope Benedict be sodomized by some of them.
The author of the article was right when she referred to this as a witch hunt.
The Norwegian Student Union (NSU) has reportedly rejected a proposal to ban the use of the Muslim hijab at colleges and universities, and called it a "witch hunt".
Speakers insisted such a commission would not be a witch hunt, but would seek fairness.
The least gifted in speaking their own defense, whether mumbling in shock or invoking the constitutional right not to answer the senator's baiting questions, were ordered back for the big show: the open hearings where the senator conducted a thunderous witch hunt that both mesmerized and polarized the nation in exploiting cold war fear."
That is the purpose of the witch hunt, and the Rosenberg case is the witch hunt in its most extreme form.
Charles Sharpe, founder of the school, said his employees have done nothing wrong and insisted that officials have launched a "witch hunt" against Heartland.
A CONSERVATIVE Party review of links with rightwing groups will not become a "witch hunt" to purge extremists, vice chairman Shailesh Vara has said.
While this in itself is perhaps unremarkable, the extent to which witch hunt studies, in other ways receptive to new currents in scholarship, have resisted the impact of women's history is surprising.
And soon they are emboldened to make all sorts of false accusations against anyone they dislike, and are egged on in this witch hunt by a host of parents and clergy with their own mixed motives.
"After two years of an expensive and comprehensive Witch Hunt, the Democrats don't like the result and they want a DO OVER.
"Despite the disgusting, illegal and unwarranted Witch Hunt, we have had the most successful first 17 month Administration in US history - by far!