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

Keep scrolling for more

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



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of socialist in a Sentence

a lifelong socialist who never lost faith in his cause

Recent Examples on the Web

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 And who are these wild-eyed radicals and socialists? Will Bunch,, "Why they risked everything to Occupy ICE | Will Bunch," 5 July 2018 Many include former socialists who feel ignored by the pro-business focus of Mr. Macron’s first year in office. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "Macron Tries to Shore Up Support for French Economic Overhaul," 9 July 2018 Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist, ran for office with an entirely progressive platform and by rejecting donations from corporate political action committees (PACs)., "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Defeated One Of The Most Powerful House Democrats," 27 June 2018 Rather than lamenting this fact, democratic socialists should capitalize on it. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez Proved That ‘Identity Politics’ Is an Asset For Berniecrats," 27 June 2018 But others are welcome: This week’s offering will be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old democratic socialist who unseated the Democratic incumbent in a New York’s 14th congressional district last month. New York Times, "Margaret Hoover and John Avlon on their Post-Partisan Marriage," 11 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of socialist

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about socialist

Statistics for socialist

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for socialist

The first known use of socialist was in 1822

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!