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Definition: Big Brother

The totalitarian state in George Orwell's novel "1984." Written in 1949, the book offers a view of life 35 years into the future where the fictional English Socialist Party (referred to as Ingsoc) rules Oceania. Ever since, Big Brother has the connotation of a government that rules its citizens with an iron fist.

Considering the huge advancements in surveillance technology since the book was written, Big Brother is becoming more fact than fiction throughout the world. See Big Mother.