Avoiding offense based on demographics especially race, sex, religion, ideology, sexuality, disability, or social grouping


  • The earliest known attestation is in late 18th century United States, in response to a toast made to "the United States" instead of to "the people of the United States".
  • In the early twentieth century the term was associated with the dogmatic application of Stalinist and Communist Party doctrine. This sense was later popularised by Mao Zedong in his 1963 essay "Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?" which equated "correct" with "the disciplined acceptance of a party line."
  • In the 1970s it was adopted by wider left-wing politics. The first known use in this sense was by Toni Cade in her 1970 anthology The Black Woman. It was subsequently used in a statement by Karen DeCrow in December 1975 in her capacity as president of the National Organization for Women.
  • In the 1980s it acquired the pejorative sense when used to mock conformist liberal academics, their stereotypical political views and alleged attempts to control language.

Submitted on July 07, 2010

Additional definitions for 'politically correct':

politically correctUsed other than as an idiom.
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