demagogue(redirected from demagogues)
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dem·a·goguealso dem·a·gog (dĕm′ə-gôg′, -gŏg′)
1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.
2. A leader of the common people in ancient times.
tr.v. dem·a·gogued, dem·a·gogu·ing, dem·a·gogues also dem·a·goged or dem·a·go·ging or dem·a·goges
Usage Problem To speak about (an issue, for example) in the manner of a demagogue.
[Greek dēmagōgos, popular leader : dēmos, people; see dā- in Indo-European roots + agōgos, leading (from agein, to lead; see ag- in Indo-European roots).]
Usage Note: Even though demagogue has been used as a verb meaning "to speak about something in the manner of a demagogue" since the 1600s, the verb has kept a low profile in the language. Recently, however, it has become a favorite of newspaper columnists. The Usage Panel does not view the verb with much favor in either its transitive or intransitive use. In our 1997 survey, 94 percent rejected it in the sentence Clinton will demagogue Medicare, unwilling to acknowledge that fundamental reforms need to be made in the system. A similar percentage rejected an example in which a representative can demagogue about price-fixing. Perhaps this resistance should not be surprising, since the use of familiar nouns as verbs is often the subject of complaints.
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a political agitator who appeals with crude oratory to the prejudice and passions of the mob
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (esp in the ancient world) any popular political leader or orator
[C17: from Greek dēmagōgos people's leader, from dēmos people + agein to lead]
or dem•a•gog(ˈdɛm əˌgɒg, -ˌgɔg)
n., v. -gogued, -gogu•ing. n.
1. a person, esp. a political leader, who gains power by arousing people's emotions and prejudices.
2. (in ancient times) a leader of the people.v.i.
3. to speak or act like a demagogue.
[1640–50; < Greek dēmagōgós=dêm(os) people + agōgós guiding]
A person who gains the support of the public by making impassioned speeches that appeal to their emotions and prejudices.
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|Noun||1.||demagogue - a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions and prejudices|