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

Examples of apologist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The tone is often both outraged and strangely mocking; the protesters are portrayed as dangerous Hamas apologists and also as yoga-loving, easily triggered Gen Z-ers who couldn’t find Palestine on a map. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 9 May 2024 Perhaps now, the gun apologists may have to rethink their passionate defense of this favorite gun used by school shooters in the massacre of innocents. Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2024 Make two batches — one for the gin loyalists, one for the vodka apologists — and put them out on ice alongside glassware, preskewered stuffed olives, pickled onions and cornichons, bitters and brine, and twisted citrus peels for a communal cocktail hour. Tanya Sichynsky, New York Times, 15 Apr. 2024 Automobili Pininfarina Internal-combustion-engine apologists love to throw shade at EVs. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 12 Apr. 2024 All in all, there seem to be three types of Joe Biden apologist in the press, each with a different style and motivation. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 8 Mar. 2024 Not just Hearst but also Henry Ford and others among the nation’s richest men were some of the chief apologists for Nazi Germany. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, 1 Mar. 2024 Israel’s apologists highlight the horrific Oct. 7 massacre of Israelis as justification, depending on listeners to forget decades-long military occupation of the West Bank and corresponding blockade of Gaza, unequivocal acts of war to which most of us would support resistance anywhere else. Steve Koppman, The Mercury News, 7 Mar. 2024 Or the parade of insufferable Sixers apologists in Bristol. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 27 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apologist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 May. 2024.

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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