- a suffix of nouns, often corresponding to verbs ending in -ize or nouns ending in -ism, that denote a person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.: apologist; dramatist; machinist; novelist; realist; socialist; Thomist.
Origin of -ist
- (forming nouns) a person who performs a certain action or is concerned with something specifiedmotorist; soloist
- (forming nouns) a person who practises in a specific fieldphysicist; typist
- (forming nouns and adjectives) a person who advocates a particular doctrine, system, etc, or relating to such a person or the doctrine advocatedsocialist
- (forming nouns and adjectives) a person characterized by a specified trait, tendency, etc, or relating to such a person or traitpurist
- (forming nouns and adjectives) a person who is prejudiced on the basis specifiedsexist; ageist
Word Origin and History for -ist
agent noun suffix, also used to indicate adherence to a certain doctrine or custom, from French -iste and directly from Latin -ista, from Greek -istes, from agential suffix -tes. Variant -ister (e.g. chorister, barister) is from Old French -istre, on false analogy of ministre. Variant -ista is from Spanish form, popularized in English 1970s by names of Latin-American revolutionary movements.