a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
(in ancient times) a leader of the people.
to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.
to speak or act like a demagogue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use demagogue in a sentence
Jason Berry received a 1992 Alicia Patterson Fellowship for his coverage of demagogues in Louisiana.
When he attacked “bosses” and “political machines,” he made sure to denounce “demagogues” and “fanatics” in the next sentence.The GOP’s Last Identity Crisis Remade U.S. Politics | Michael Wolraich | July 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Demagogues only gain power when they can whip their people into a frenzy about an outside enemy.Take John McCain’s Russia Advice and You Might Get Another Cold War | Michael Tomasky | March 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Stoke with talk-radio demagogues and the internet echo chamber.The South Has Indeed Risen Again and It’s Called the Tea Party | Jack Schwartz | December 8, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Too often this dynamic results in a toleration of demagogues who show callousness to communities of color in the USA.Hispanic Outreach Director Explains Why He Said ‘Adios’ to the GOP | John Avlon | May 16, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The different counties, in fact, from the agitation of the demagogues, presented one scene of growing lawlessness and crime.
These "defects of the bill," therefore, supplied the demagogues with new sources of agitation.
Meetings were held in various quarters, and demagogues addressed the assembled multitudes in the most inflammatory language.
Mylasa has produced in our time illustrious men, who were at once orators and demagogues, Euthydemus and Hybreas.
As if matters were not bad enough already, there are demagogues who are stirring up class feeling by proposing new laws.Humanly Speaking | Samuel McChord Crothers
British Dictionary definitions for demagogue
a political agitator who appeals with crude oratory to the prejudice and passions of the mob
(esp in the ancient world) any popular political leader or orator
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
Cultural definitions for demagogue
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.