so·​cial·​ist | \ ˈsō-sh(ə-)list \

Definition of socialist

1 : one who advocates or practices socialism
2 capitalized : a member of a party or political group advocating socialism

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Other Words from socialist

socialist adjective, often capitalized
socialistic \ ˌsō-​shə-​ˈli-​stik \ adjective
socialistically \ ˌsō-​shə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for socialist


commie, communist, comrade, Red



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Examples of socialist in a Sentence

a lifelong socialist who never lost faith in his cause

Recent Examples on the Web

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist and likely presidential candidate in 2020, has introduced the Stop Bezos Act that would tax Amazon to finance government transfer payments like food stamps. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Amazon’s $15 Political Insurance," 2 Oct. 2018 Prominent socialists, like Jacobin editor-in-chief Bhaskar Sunkara, have defended her on social media: Whether Salazar likes it or not, her campaign has become another proof of concept for socialism in America. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Julia Salazar, the socialist politician accused of lying about her past, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 In what has already become our unofficial quote of the week, the millennial democratic socialist presented listeners with one main takeaway: Skewing white and flaky won’t win elections. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Thinks "Saltine Cracker" Politics Won't Win Elections for Democrats," 8 Aug. 2018 Nixon has identified herself as a Democratic socialist and called for universal health care, universal rent control, ending cash bail, legalizing marijuana, abolishing ICE, and ending economic inequality. Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About New York's Primary Election on Thursday," 10 Sep. 2018 Even self-admitted socialists like Oakland’s Ron Dellums refused to close military bases in his district, emblematic of Democratic politicians across the board who failed to recognize Defense as an endless source of patronage and pork. Peter-christian Aigner, The New Republic, "The Long, Tortured History of the Job Guarantee," 11 May 2018 These voters in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, etc. didn’t become socialists in the last two years. Jane Coaston, Vox, "How Trump-skeptical Republicans swung the 2018 midterms," 15 Nov. 2018 Cruz successfully convinced Republicans to be scared of O’Rourke and his calculation that defining him as a radical socialist would pay off seems to have worked. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Ted Cruz reelected to the US Senate after a surprisingly competitive race," 7 Nov. 2018 On the surface, this looks a lot like New York’s 14th District, where another democratic socialist, Ocasio-Cortez, beat Joseph Crowley, a longtime congressman with a powerful leadership position. Maggie Astor, The Seattle Times, "5 states are voting today. Here’s what to watch.," 7 Aug. 2018

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

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First Known Use of socialist

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for socialist

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for socialist

The first known use of socialist was in 1822

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More Definitions for socialist



English Language Learners Definition of socialist

: a person who believes in socialism

Socialist : a member of a political party that supports socialism


so·​cial·​ist | \ ˈsō-shə-list \

Kids Definition of socialist

: a person who supports socialism

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Comments on socialist

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


a complex dispute or argument

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