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publicist

[puhb-luh-sist]
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noun
  1. a person who publicizes, especially a press agent or public-relations consultant.
  2. an expert in current public or political affairs.
  3. an expert in public or international law.
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Origin of publicist

From German, dating back to 1785–95; see origin at public, -ist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

agent

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British Dictionary definitions for publicist

publicist

noun
  1. a person who publicizes something, esp a press or publicity agent
  2. a journalist
  3. rare a person learned in public or international law
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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

Word Origin and History for publicist

n.

1792, "person learned in public law or the law of nations," from public (adj.) + -ist. Also from 1795 in English as "writer on current topics," from French publiciste; in either case a hybrid.

Then crept in the "loose" usage. Anybody who wrote or spoke about public affairs came to be dubbed a publicist. It was only a question of time when the dam would give way and the word flow in all directions and be made to cover every kind of talent, or lack of it. ["The Nation," Nov. 22, 1917]

Meaning "press agent" is from 1925 (publicity agent attested by 1900); publicitor also was tried in this sense.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper