1. 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

Middle English -iste<Latin -ista<Greek -istēs; in some words, representing French -iste,German -ist,Italian -ista, etc., ≪ Latin <Greek, as above

Words Nearby -ist

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How to use -ist in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -ist


  1. (forming nouns) a person who performs a certain action or is concerned with something specified: motorist; soloist

  2. (forming nouns) a person who practises in a specific field: physicist; typist

  1. (forming nouns and adjectives) a person who advocates a particular doctrine, system, etc, or relating to such a person or the doctrine advocated: socialist

  2. (forming nouns and adjectives) a person characterized by a specified trait, tendency, etc, or relating to such a person or trait: purist

  3. (forming nouns and adjectives) a person who is prejudiced on the basis specified: sexist; ageist

Origin of -ist

via Old French from Latin -ista, -istēs, from Greek -istēs

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