- 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.
Origin of demagogue
Examples from the Web for demagogue
But as a demagogue for whom total power meant all, he realized that to capture Italy he needed the church.How the Catholic Church Got in Bed with Mussolini
February 5, 2014
But any ambiguous result is easy for a demagogue to spin into a great victory.The Ted Cruz Armageddon Is Coming
October 18, 2013
The voters rehabilitated a politician who has become a clown, an orange pancake-faced caricature of a demagogue.The United States Can’t Insulate Itself From Euro Politics
February 28, 2013
Especially if, like the New York Post or a borough president, they can score demagogue points by doing so.Stop Moping! The Marathon Is Exactly What New York Needs Right Now
November 3, 2012
Bibi is a dangerous man and a demagogue in his own right, but this current bleak situation isn't his fault in the first instance.Ahmadinejad, Man of Moderation
September 26, 2012
And here the demagogue arose and bade her shirk no issue, even the red flag.The Prisoner
The contemptible beast was inspired, as a politician is, a demagogue.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
The constituency of the grog seller is the ready made tool of the demagogue.
No one would have the United States play the role of a bully, or enact the demagogue.
Like any other demagogue, he gains attention by his blusterings.
sometimes US demagog
- 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
Word Origin and History for demagogue
1640s, from Greek demagogos "popular leader," also "leader of the mob," from demos "people" (see demotic) + agogos "leader," from agein "to lead" (see act (n.)). Often a term of disparagement since the time of its first use, in Athens, 5c. B.C.E. Form perhaps influenced by French demagogue (mid-14c.).
by 1964, American English, from demagogue (n.). Related: Demagogued; demagoguing.