Definition of populist
1 : a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people; especially, often capitalized : a member of a U.S. political party formed in 1891 primarily to represent agrarian interests and to advocate the free coinage of silver and government control of monopolies
2 : a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people
populismplay \-ˌli-zəm\ noun
populisticplay \ˌpä-pyə-ˈlis-tik\ adjective
Did You Know?
The word populist first appeared in the 1890s with the founding of the Populist Party, which stood for the interests of the farmers against the big-money interests. In later years populism came to be associated with the blue-collar class in the cities as well. Populism can be hard to predict. It sometimes has a religious tendency; it usually isn't very interested in international affairs; it has sometimes been unfriendly to immigrants and blacks; and it's often anti-intellectual. So populism often switches between liberal and conservative. But the populist style always shows its concern with Americans with average incomes as opposed to the rich and powerful.
Origin and Etymology of populist
Latin populus the people
First Known Use: 1891
First Known Use of populist
POPULIST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of populist for English Language Learners
: of or relating to a political party that claims to represent ordinary people
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