politically correct

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

politically correct (comparative more politically correct, superlative most politically correct)

  1. (idiomatic, sometimes pejorative, of language) Avoiding offense based on demographics especially race, sex, religion, ideology, sexuality, disability, or social grouping
    • 1970, Toni Cade, The Black Woman:
      A man cannot be politically correct and a chauvinist too.
  2. (idiomatic, politics, usually pejorative) Possessing stereotypical left-wing social and political views.
  3. (politics) Possessing or conforming to the correct political positions; following the official policies of the government or a political party.
    • 1793, U.S. Supreme Court, Chisholm v State of GA, 2 US 419 (1793)
      Sentiments and expressions of this inaccurate kind prevail in our common, even in our convivial, language. Is a toast asked? ‘The United States’, instead of the ‘People of the United States’, is the toast given. This is not politically correct.
    • 1964 March 23, Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks in Atlantic City at the Convention of the United Auto Workers:
      I am here to tell you that we are going to do those things which need to be done, not because they are politically correct, but because they are right. We are going to pass a civil rights bill if it takes all summer.
    • 1969, Y. F. Sopin, chapter 5, The Bolshevik Party's Struggle Against Trotskyism[1], page 214:
      Lenin gave an all-round substantiation of the impossibility of implementing the United States of Europe slogan under capitalism. He said this slogan merged with socialism and acquired political meaning only under socialism. It was politically correct also from the standpoint of the need to overthrow the three reactionary monarchies of Europe—that of Russia, of Germany and of Austria-Hungary.

Usage notes[edit]

While "politically correct" frequently refers to a linguistic phenomenon, it is sometimes extended to cover political ideology and behavior, curriculum content, and many areas affected by law, regulation, and public pressure.

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