demagogue









demagogue


noun

  1. a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
  2. (in ancient times) a leader of the people.

verb (used with object), dem·a·gogued, dem·a·gogu·ing.

  1. to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.

verb (used without object), dem·a·gogued, dem·a·gogu·ing.

  1. to speak or act like a demagogue.

noun

  1. a political agitator who appeals with crude oratory to the prejudice and passions of the mob
  2. (esp in the ancient world) any popular political leader or orator
n.

1640s, from Greek demagogos “popular leader,” also “leader of the mob,” from demos “people” (see demotic) + agogos “leader,” from agein “to lead” (see act (n.)). Often a term of disparagement since the time of its first use, in Athens, 5c. B.C.E. Form perhaps influenced by French demagogue (mid-14c.).

v.

by 1964, American English, from demagogue (n.). Related: Demagogued; demagoguing.

A politician who seeks to win and hold office by appeals to mass prejudice. Demagogues often use lies and distortion. (See Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.)

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