since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English


This page is about the doublespeak term settlement


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?

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

Contributor: Matt Errey