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populist Syllabification: pop·u·list
Pronunciation: /ˈpäpyələst/

Definition of populist in English:


1A member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.
Example sentences
  • Moreover, he was something new in this state with an historic taste for populism - a centrist populist.
  • The party defined the new Turkey as nationalist, republican, populist, secular, statist, and revolutionary.
  • The conversion of Bustamante from a conservative Democrat to a populist has been rather sudden.
1.1A person who holds, or who is concerned with, the views of ordinary people.
Example sentences
  • Instead he is becoming a Shi'ite populist whose appeal will be enhanced by American accusations of treachery.
  • Yet these same white populists supported legislation that denied a minimum wage or labor protection to agricultural and domestic workers (mainly people of color) as part of the New Deal.
  • His supporters say the left-leaning populist is a visionary, but his detractors call him a dangerous lunatic.
1.2 (Populist) A member of the Populist Party, a US political party formed in 1891 that advocated the interests of labor and farmers, free coinage of silver, a graduated income tax, and government control of monopolies.
Example sentences
  • In 1890, for instance, the People's Party (the Populists ' official name) won 52 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and three in the U.S. Senate.
  • These comprised successively the Whig, Know-Nothing, Populist, and Republican parties in the city.
  • The Chicago Tribune, for instance, noted that the ‘veterans recognize the danger arising from the conspiracy of the Populists, Popocrats, and free silver Republican bolters against the credit of the Nation.’


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Of or relating to a populist or populists: a populist leader
More example sentences
  • It seemed to many that the revered Constitution was really the bulwark of powerful economic interests and, therefore, the enemy of more egalitarian and populist policies.
  • How is the defeat of neo-liberal policies by populist leaders adopting leftist slogans to be explained?
  • European social democracy cannot allow populist discontent to become a monopoly of the right.


Pronunciation: /ˌpäpyəˈlistik/
Example sentences
  • To most people it's clear that the Freedom Party and Haider is a very populistic and opportunistic conservative party.
  • Together with Marxism, this was to be something populistic - this is different from the American term populism.
  • The discourse of democracy has been embedded in the nationalist struggle for liberation and self-determination and has therefore implied a populistic kind of pluralism.


Late 19th century: from Latin populus 'people' + -ist.

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