- 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 demagoguing
To be sure, lawmakers have made it extremely difficult, throwing multiple roadblocks in his way—and demagoguing the issue.All In on Gitmo: Obama Returns to Fight for a Shutdown
May 23, 2013
Gingrich regained his footing quickly, demagoguing the federal courts in a way that would have made George Corley Wallace proud.Paul Begala: Newt's Shameless Chutzpah Saves Him in Fox Debate
December 16, 2011
He said Democrats are demagoguing the issue, but faulted Ryan for giving them the opportunity.Are Democrats Health-Care Hypocrites?
May 12, 2011
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 demagoguing
by 1964, American English, from demagogue (n.). Related: Demagogued; demagoguing.
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.).