[ ak-tuh-vist ]
/ ˈæk tə vɪst /


an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, especially a political cause.


of or relating to activism or activists: an activist organization for environmental concern.
advocating or opposing a cause or issue vigorously, especially a political cause: Activist opponents of the president picketed the White House.

Nearby words

  1. actively,
  2. activewear,
  3. active‐matrix,
  4. activin,
  5. activism,
  6. activities,
  7. activity,
  8. activize,
  9. acto,
  10. actomyosin

Origin of activist

First recorded in 1905–10; active + -ist

Related formsnon·ac·tiv·ist, adjective, noun

Can be confusedactivist pacifist passivist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for activist

Word Origin and History for activist



"one who advocates a doctrine of direct action," 1915; from active + -ist. Originally in reference to political forces in Sweden advocating abandonment of neutrality in World War I and active support for the Central Powers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper