so·​cial·​ist | \ ˈsō-sh(ə-)list How to pronounce socialist (audio) \

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 How to pronounce socialist (audio) \ adjective
socialistically \ ˌsō-​shə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce socialist (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for socialist



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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 Somerville was the first city in the country to officially recognize polyamorous relationships, and nearly 60 percent of voters chose Bernie Sanders, a proud democratic socialist, in the 2016 Democratic primary., "Welcome to the socialist revolution in Somerville," 5 Apr. 2021 While he was noted for being a progressive socialist, London was also adept at dystopian race-baiting and published horribly xenophobic prose, including about Asian people. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Jack London had racist ideas. It's time to rename the square," 28 Mar. 2021 It was last used a century ago to keep a socialist from Wisconsin who opposed U.S. entry into World War I from taking his seat in Congress. Jessica Gresko,, "Explainer: Barring Trump from holding office again," 14 Jan. 2021 There’s capitalist/socialist, which pits people on the far left like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who calls for a wholesale overhaul of the economic system — versus virtually everybody else, left or right. Washington Post, "breaking up the Democratic and Republican parties," 1 Mar. 2021 Musk bends markets to his will and crushes unionization efforts but calls himself a socialist. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Elon Musk’s Big Government Grift," 9 Dec. 2020 Her father loved to talk, to debate, but did not try to impose his political views, said Ms. Relph, who today identifies as a socialist. New York Times, "In Minnesota, a G.O.P. Lawmaker’s Death Brings Home the Reality of Covid," 18 Jan. 2021 For example: Over the objection of other Republicans, Hawley partnered with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a democratic socialist, to push for $2,000 checks for coronavirus relief. Washington Post, "What does Josh Hawley think he’s doing?," 17 Jan. 2021 Yet, Yellen is not a Bernie Sanders-style socialist. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "From picks to policy: Here's what Biden's key appointments mean for his administration," 24 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for socialist

Time Traveler

The first known use of socialist was in 1822

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Statistics for socialist

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Socialist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for socialist



English Language Learners Definition of socialist

: a person who believes in socialism
: a member of a political party that supports socialism


so·​cial·​ist | \ ˈsō-shə-list How to pronounce socialist (audio) \

Kids Definition of socialist

: a person who supports socialism

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Comments on socialist

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