demagogue

A demagogue is someone who becomes a leader largely because of skills as a speaker or who appeals to emotions and prejudices.

Though the Greek root for demagogue literally means "a leader of the people," the word has for centuries had a negative connotation: it actually means a leader who has manipulated the emotions and prejudices of the rabble. The reason for the negative connotation is that in ancient Athens, "the people" were considered to be an uncivilized mob. Two of the most famous historical demagogues are said to be Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

DEFINITIONS OF: demagogue

1

n a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions and prejudices

Synonyms:
demagog, rabble-rouser
Type of:
pol, political leader, politician, politico
a person active in party politics

WORD FORMS

alternate spellings

demagog
demagogue
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