demagogue was our Word of the Day on 11/04/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of demagogue in a Sentence
- 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
- Before the U.S. could begin to help Haiti rebuild its ravaged democracy last week, it first had to remove a raving demagogue. —Tim Padgett et al., Time, 15 Mar. 2004
- Here's the background: Tennessee's finances are a mess. The state is facing a shortfall of some $310 million—but legislators remember what happened last year when they considered imposing the first income tax on wages. Goaded by talk-radio demagogues, hundreds of citizens surrounded the Statehouse in a near riot. —Editor & Publisher, 4 Feb. 2002
His opponent called him a bigoted demagogue.
that politician is just a demagogue who preys upon people's fears and prejudices
Recent Examples of demagogue from the Web
While Mussolini and Hitler ascended the European stage around 1930, two American demagogues also rose to fame: Senator Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin.
Trump won the nomination by outflanking every other Republican as an authoritarian demagogue and a racist.
Readers today say that the book still offers remarkable insights into human behavior and sheds light on why people might, for instance, sympathize with terrorists or support a dangerous demagogue as a national leader.
Trump stormed the White House last year as a Republican in name but an ideology-free demagogue in practice, and his success scared real conservatives into acquiescence.
Part of the answer is a technical one: The Electoral College, designed to protect the country from demagogues, instead elected one.
But then, as that last bit suggests, such demagogues have always maintained a distinction between the industrious rich and the money-changers.
Throughout the campaign Democrats and even some Republicans relentlessly assailed Goldwater as a demagogue and a leader of right-wing extremism.
What cost did Kelly ever pay for being a racial demagogue?
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demagogue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
When the ancient Greeks used dēmagōgos (from dēmos, meaning "people," and agein, "to lead") they meant someone good-a leader who used outstanding oratorical skills to further the interests of the common people. Mid-17th-century writers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Dryden-and, later, Jonathan Swift-employed the English word that way. But, at the same time, the word took a negative turn, coming to suggest one who uses powers of persuasion to sway and mislead. "A plausible, insignificant word, in the mouth of an expert demagogue, is a dangerous and a dreadful weapon," declared Robert South, known for his sermons, in 1716.
Synonymsagitator (also demagog), exciter, firebrand, fomenter, incendiary, inciter, instigator, kindler, provocateur, rabble-rouser
Related Wordsdemonstrator, marcher, objector, picketer, protester (or protestor); advocate, apostle, backer, booster, champion, exponent, persuader, promoter, proponent, reformer, reformist, supporter; alarmist, extremist, insurgent, insurrectionist, radical, rebel, revolter, revolutionary, revolutionist, subversive, troublemaker; goader, prodder, prompter, provoker; agent provocateur
Near Antonymspeacemaker, reconciler, uniter
Examples of demagogue in a Sentence
- 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
DEMAGOGUE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of demagogue for English Language Learners
: a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason
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