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From double +‎ think. Coined by George Orwell in 1949 as part of the Newspeak in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.


doublethink (usually uncountable, plural doublethinks)

  1. The holding of two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them as true or correct, without realizing the contradiction.
    • 1949 June 8, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 3, in Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, London: Secker & Warburg, →OCLC; republished [Australia]: Project Gutenberg of Australia, August 2001, part 3, page 242:
      The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?
    • 1965 May 11, William S. White, “Doctrine of Nonintervention Comes Cropper In Dominica”, in The Morning Record[1], Meriden-Wallingford, Connecticut, page 4:
      Any effort by the United States to halt these creeping advances of Communist imperialism became, by the same mad process of double-think, the only kind of "intervention" there ever could be.
    • 1992 March 5, Sylvain Fribourg, “The Agony of the Extasy [Letter to the Editor]”, in Los Angeles Times[2]:
      Or does the hypocrisy and doublethink go beyond a loathing of the human body and an acceptance of violence to a very practical fear that such a club in a predominantly middle-class Caucasian neighborhood will drive down property values?
    • 2019 December 2, Eric Lutz, “Trump Lawyer Cites No Due Process as Reason to Sit Out Due Process”, in Vanity Fair[3]:
      The same sort of doublethink is evident in the White House’s treatment of firsthand impeachment witnesses.



doublethink (third-person singular simple present doublethinks, present participle doublethinking, simple past and past participle doublethought)

  1. To engage in doublethink.
    • 2014 November 6, M. Dentith, The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories, Springer, →ISBN:
      ... but, as they believed they had other reasons for supporting the invasion – be they moral, monetary or something else entirely – they doublethunk (or doublethought) it and endorsed the 'evidence' despite its lack of merit.
    • 2011 September 29, Norman Spinrad, A World Between, Gateway, →ISBN:
      "So we both doublethought our way around the inevitable as long as we could because we both really want the same thing and we both have policy problems with our superiors.” “I'm not sure I follow you,” Lindblad said, in a tone of voice []

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