Abbreviation for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (1938–1975), which was an investigative committee of the U. S. House of Representatives. Originally, the main objective of HUAC was to investigate un-American and subversive activities – both right-wing and left-wing. Later, however, its emphasis shifted to investigating left-wing groups. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, HUAC was interrogating dozens of Americans about their alleged Communist activities and associations, and a refusal to answer its questions often resulted in contempt of Congress charges and criminal prosecution. From 1969 to1975, the committee was renamed the House Committee on Internal Security.