demagogue


1dem·a·gogue

noun \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\

: a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason

Full Definition of DEMAGOGUE

1
:  a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
2
:  a leader championing the cause of the common people in ancient times
dem·a·gogu·ery \-ˌgä-g(ə-)rē\ noun
dem·a·gogy \-ˌgä-gē, -ˌgä-jē, -ˌgō-jē\ noun

Variants of DEMAGOGUE

dem·a·gogue also dem·a·gog \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\

Examples of DEMAGOGUE

  1. His opponent called him a bigoted demagogue.
  2. <that politician is just a demagogue who preys upon people's fears and prejudices>
  3. Like other good Whigs, they had assumed that the people, once free of English influence, would honor and elevate the country's true patriots and natural aristocracy in ways that the English Crown had not. But when in the decades following the Revolution the people seemed to succumb to the deceit and flattery of mushroom demagogues, who were the popular counterparts of courtiers, the Federalists became bewildered and bitter. —Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary Characters, 2006

Origin of DEMAGOGUE

Greek dēmagōgos, from dēmos people (perhaps akin to Greek daiesthai to divide) + agōgos leading, from agein to lead — more at tide, agent
First Known Use: 1648

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

2dem·a·gogue

verb \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\
dem·a·gogued also dem·a·gogeddem·a·gogu·ing also dem·a·gog·ing

Definition of DEMAGOGUE

intransitive verb
:  to behave like a demagogue
transitive verb
:  to treat (as an issue) in the manner of a demagogue

Variants of DEMAGOGUE

dem·a·gogue also dem·a·gog \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\

Examples of DEMAGOGUE

  1. But Clinton's boldness seemed to work, at least within the Beltway. House Republicans mostly stifled the urge to demagogue against his plan. —Tom Morganthau et al., Newsweek, 11 Dec. 1995

Origin of DEMAGOGUE

(see 1demagogue)
First Known Use: 1656

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

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