pro·​pa·​gan·​dist | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-dist How to pronounce propagandist (audio) , ˌprō- \
plural propagandists

Definition of propagandist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who produces or spreads propaganda : a person who spreads ideas, facts, or allegations deliberately to further a cause or to damage an opposing cause left-wing/right-wing propagandists From the mid-1860s on through the 1870s, Jesse had the help of a propagandist, a former Confederate major named John Newman Edwards, who switched to journalism and did all he could to promote Jesse as a kind of rebel knight errant.— Larry McMurtry


variants: or propagandistic \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˌgan-​ˈdi-​stik How to pronounce propagandistic (audio) , ˌprō-​ \

Definition of propagandist (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being propaganda : characterized by ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further a cause or to damage an opposing cause propagandist rhetoric propagandistic art "… I like Jacques-Louis David a lot, too, although he was a propagandist painter. …"— Bob Dylan Accompanying text reported the outstanding political and economic achievements of the Party and detailed propagandistic speeches at length.— Linda Jensen Yes, this film is propagandist in nature, but is at the same time a documentary.— Matt Campbell

Other Words from propagandist


propagandistically \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˌgan-​ˈdi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce propagandistically (audio) , ˌprō-​ \ adverb

First Known Use of propagandist


1792, in the meaning defined above


1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for propagandist


borrowed from French propagandiste, from propagande propaganda + -iste -ist entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about propagandist

Time Traveler for propagandist

Time Traveler

The first known use of propagandist was in 1792

See more words from the same year

Statistics for propagandist

Cite this Entry

“Propagandist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on propagandist

Nglish: Translation of propagandist for Spanish Speakers

Comments on propagandist

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!