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settlement

Meaning: a town built on land taken by force or occupied by invaders

For example:

  • British colonists built many settlements in North America in the eighteenth century.

  • Are people from Israel still building illegal settlements on Palestinian land?

Note: When used to mean a town built by colonists or people who live on land that was taken from the original owners by force, "settlement" is doublespeak. But when used to mean a town built on land that wasn't previously owned or occupied, or built after being given permission by the land's owners, it isn't doublespeak.

Quick Quiz:

"Settlement" is doublespeak when it's used to describe

a. a town built in an unoccupied area

b. a townhouse property development

c. a town built illegally on occupied land

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Contributor: Matt Errey