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[soh-shuh-list] /ˈsoʊ ʃə lɪst/
an advocate or supporter of socialism.
(initial capital letter) a member of the U.S. Socialist party.
Origin of socialist
First recorded in 1825-35; social + -ist
Related forms
nonsocialist, noun, adjective
presocialist, noun
semisocialist, noun
Can be confused
communist, fascist, Marxist, socialist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for socialist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One was deep in a socialist book, the other in news of the Giants.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • But I really don't see why I shouldn't be a socialist as well.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • The others had to restrain the lieutenant to keep him from assaulting the socialist.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • You would have been a socialist and headed labour-union picnics.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley
  • The cloven hoof of the socialist peeps out from a little group.

British Dictionary definitions for socialist


a supporter or advocate of socialism or any party promoting socialism (socialist party)
of, characteristic of, implementing, or relating to socialism
(sometimes capital) of, characteristic of, or relating to socialists or a socialist party
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for socialist

"one who advocates socialism," 1827, from French socialiste, or else a native formation based on it, in reference to the teachings of Comte de Saint-Simon, founder of French socialism. The word begins to be used in French in the modern sense c.1835. Socialista, with a different sense, was applied 18c. to followers and pupils of Dutch jurist Grotius (1583-1645), from his use of socialistus. Socialist realism attested from 1934.

I find that socialism is often misunderstood by its least intelligent supporters and opponents to mean simply unrestrained indulgence of our natural propensity to heave bricks at respectable persons. [George Bernard Shaw, "An Unsocial Socialist," 1900]

Prison is a Socialist's Paradise, where equality prevails, everything is supplied and competition is eliminated. [Elbert Hubbard, "The Note Book," 1927]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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