ac·​tiv·​ist | \ ˈak-ti-vist How to pronounce activist (audio) \
plural activists

Definition of activist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who advocates or practices activism : a person who uses or supports strong actions (such as public protests) in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue Antiwar activists were protesting in the streets. an environmental activist political activists The conventional wisdom is that young people no longer care enough to stand up for what is important; that the days of activism and protest have faded into the past, the bailiwick of aging hippies and activists.The Easton (Massachusetts) Journal



Definition of activist (Entry 2 of 2)

: advocating or practicing activism : using or supporting strong actions in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue For the activist groups that will carry the nomination fight to the public, the name of the game is hit early and often.— Richard Lacayo Pressing demands that are both global and granular, the activist investor has turned himself into one of the food sector's most influential players, affecting how millions of people eat each day.— Julie Jargon They plan to become activist shareholders who will protest global-warming resolutions and anything else that undermines corporate profitability.— John J. Miller

Other Words from activist


activistic \ ˌak-​ti-​ˈvi-​stik How to pronounce activistic (audio) \ adjective
What is news to me … is how much alike were the fears and concerns of both activistic Democrats and skeptical Republicans … — Nathan Glazer

First Known Use of activist


1920, in the meaning defined above


1917, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for activist

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for activist

The first known use of activist was in 1917

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English Language Learners Definition of activist

: a person who uses or supports strong actions (such as public protests) to help make changes in politics or society

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More from Merriam-Webster on activist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for activist

Spanish Central: Translation of activist

Nglish: Translation of activist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of activist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on activist

What made you want to look up activist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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