apol·​o·​gist ə-ˈpä-lə-jist How to pronounce apologist (audio)
plural apologists
: someone who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something that is typically controversial, unpopular, or subject to criticism
… an apologist for moneyed interests.S. L. Price
Apologists argued that funneling contracts to his children did not matter too much since the projects—new roads, factories, airports—did get built.Johanna McGeary
Apologists for the status quo will always claim that if change were really needed, the market would have already made it happen.Michael Grunwald

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web By protecting Mahallati, an Islamic regime apologist, Oberlin College is acting as an accomplice in the oppression of a new generation of Iranians and is responsible for their torture, rape, and public hanging. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 20 Dec. 2022 Once a brilliant rapper known for merely erratic behavior, Kanye West became a full-on Hitler apologist, a transition exemplified by an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and a buddy-buddy relationship with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2022 And, worse yet, Noah became an apologist for Smith. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Dec. 2022 During the early month of the conflict, the pope had also avoided criticism of the war’s chief religious backer and apologist, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. Oleg Matsnev Marc Santora Thomas Gibbons-neff Alan Rappeport Marc Santora Richard Pérez-peña John Ismay Gaia Pianigiani Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2022 With a master of arts in Christian apologetics from Biola University's Talbot School of Theology, Karamo describes herself as a Christian apologist on her LinkedIn page. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 5 Nov. 2022 Trump populists — including the Heritage Foundation’s new president — have welcomed former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii), an apologist for Vladimir Putin and his vassal Bashar al-Assad, into the ranks of the New Right. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 22 Oct. 2022 But he is reviled in many quarters as a Trump apologist. Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2022 There’s apologist and there’s also even what Kevin McCarthy said in the last couple of days, which is saying that Biden will have to work hard to prove that there's more funding to Ukraine that’s necessary. ABC News, 23 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apologist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin apologista, from Late Latin apologia "defense in speech or writing" + New Latin -ista -ist entry 1 — more at apology

First Known Use

1602, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of apologist was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near apologist

Cite this Entry

“Apologist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apologist. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


apol·​o·​gist ə-ˈpäl-ə-jəst How to pronounce apologist (audio)
: one who speaks or writes in defense of a faith, cause, or institution

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