[ soh-shuh-list ]
/ ˈsoʊ ʃə lɪst /


an advocate or supporter of socialism.
(initial capital letter) a member of the U.S. Socialist party.


Nearby words

  1. social worker,
  2. social-minded,
  3. socialisation,
  4. socialise,
  5. socialism,
  6. socialist international,
  7. socialist labor party,
  8. socialist parties,
  9. socialist party,
  10. socialist realism

Origin of socialist

First recorded in 1825–35; social + -ist

Related formsnon·so·cial·ist, noun, adjectivepre·so·cial·ist, nounsem·i·so·cial·ist, noun

Can be confusedcommunist fascist Marxist socialist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for socialist

British Dictionary definitions for socialist


/ (ˈsəʊʃəlɪst) /


a supporter or advocate of socialism or any party promoting socialism (socialist party)


of, characteristic of, implementing, or relating to socialism
(sometimes capital) of, characteristic of, or relating to socialists or a socialist party
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 socialist



"one who advocates socialism," 1827, from French socialiste, or else a native formation based on it, in reference to the teachings of Comte de Saint-Simon, founder of French socialism. The word begins to be used in French in the modern sense c.1835. Socialista, with a different sense, was applied 18c. to followers and pupils of Dutch jurist Grotius (1583-1645), from his use of socialistus. Socialist realism attested from 1934.

I find that socialism is often misunderstood by its least intelligent supporters and opponents to mean simply unrestrained indulgence of our natural propensity to heave bricks at respectable persons. [George Bernard Shaw, "An Unsocial Socialist," 1900]

Prison is a Socialist's Paradise, where equality prevails, everything is supplied and competition is eliminated. [Elbert Hubbard, "The Note Book," 1927]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper