Origins of Common Words - Propaganda

About the history, origins, and definitions of the common word propaganda.

UNCOMMON STORIES BEHIND COMMON WORDS

Propaganda - When Pope Gregory XV established the congregatio de propaganda fide in 1622, his motives were unquestionably noble. The congregatio was a committee of cardinals who were to spread--or propagate--the faith by establishing foreign missions. But gradually, propaganda came to mean any system for spreading a belief or practice, until a negative political sense took hold about 1880. By now, of course, the evil overtones of the word have completely obscured its pious origins.

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