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From 1984 +‎ -ish, itself a reference to the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌnʌɪntiːneɪtiˈfɔːɹɪʃ/


1984-ish (comparative more 1984-ish, superlative most 1984-ish)

  1. Resembling or pertaining to a totalitarian society, especially one characterised by intensive surveillance of the population. [from 20th c.]
    • 2000, G. R. Evans, Martyn Percy, Managing the Church?: Order and Organization in a Secular Age, page 128:
      I have no idea what this 1984-ish-sounding organization actually does, though I suspect it has something to do with industrial processes.
    • 2007, Jerome Sala, What if someone were listening? Contemporary poetry and the problem of popularity, page 140:
      The poems were then posted on a Library of Congress website, and high school principals were encouraged in the slightly 1984-ish task of reading them over their loud speakers each morning at the beginning of the school day.
    • 2011, Charles Forbin, The Diaries of Ay'esha: Trapped and Trained, page 171:
      A truly 1984-ish paradox. What had gone down the memory hole?
    • 2011, John E.B. Myers, The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, page viii:
      All these technologies sound a bit ominous and 1984-ish when taken out of context.