demagogue

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n demagogue a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions and prejudices
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Demagogue A leader of the rabble; one who attempts to control the multitude by specious or deceitful arts; an unprincipled and factious mob orator or political leader.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n demagogue Historically, a leader of the people; a person who sways the people by oratory or persuasion.
    • n demagogue An unprincipled popular orator or leader; one who endeavors to curry favor with the people or some particular portion of them by pandering to their prejudices or wishes, or by playing on their ignorance or passions; specifically, an unprincipled political agitator; one who seeks to obtain political power or the furtherance of some sinister purpose by pandering to the ignorance or prejudice of the populace.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Demagogue dem′a-gog a leader of the people: a popular and factious orator
    • ***

Quotations

  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “Better the rule of One, whom all obey, than to let clamorous demagogues betray our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. dhmagwgo`s a popular leader; commonly in a bad sense, a leader of the mob; dh^mos the people + 'agwgo`s leading, fr. 'a`gein to lead; akin to E. act,: cf. F. démagogue,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—Gr. dēmogōgosdēmos, the people, agogos, leading—agein, to lead.

Usage

In literature:

This would be the fitting end of a rule by irresponsible and penniless demagogues.
"British Socialism" by J. Ellis Barker
He might have had a third term if he had been contented to be a mere demagogue.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8" by Various
A parcel of trumpery agitators, speechifiers, little petty demagogues, whom nobody ever heard of before.
"Phoebe, Junior" by Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
WHEREIN THE DEMAGOGUE SEEKS THE COURTIER CHAPTER IV.
"The Works Of Edward Bulwer-Lytton A Linked Index to the Project Gutenberg Editions" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Mr. Lincoln begins to call a demagogue any one who does not admire all the doings of his administration.
"Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862" by Adam Gurowski
But it's no reason for your delivering them over to demagogues like Weedon Moore.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
Ay, but that is just what the sagacious demagogue wishes to prevent.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844" by Various
Pitt will be dead when he has ceased to be a demagogue.
"Rodney, the Ranger" by John V. Lane
He attributed continually his deceptions to the conspiracies of aristocrats and demagogues.
"Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 1 July 1848" by Various
No poet, no demagogue, had ever so interested the masses.
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
***

In poetry:

"A dangerous man," said Caiaphas,
"An ignorant demagogue, alas!
Friend of low women, it is he
Slanders the upright Pharisee."
"Comrade Jesus" by Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn
And demagogues, with purpose vile,
Must lead the trait'rous cause,
And hound unthinking masses on,
To wreck our country's laws.
"Ye Patriot Sons Of Canada" by Thomas Frederick Young
He is a System — wrought for human hogs!
So long as we shall hug a hoary Lie,
And gulp the vocal swill of demagogues,
The Fat shall rule the sty!
"The Red Winds Come!" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
The rest I pass, one sentence I unsay.
Had de Valera eaten parnell's heart
No loose-lipped demagogue had won the day.
No civil rancour torn the land apart.
"Parnell's Funeral" by William Butler Yeats
By ignorant demagogues is held in fee,
Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land
Which bare a triple empire in her hand
When Cromwell spake the word Democracy!
"To Milton" by Oscar Wilde
There are who triumph in a losing cause,
Who can put on defeat, as 'twere a wreath
Unwithering in the adverse popular breath,
Safe from the blasting demagogue's applause;
'Tis they who stand for Freedom and God's laws.
"To John Gorham Palfrey" by James Russell Lowell

In news:

I first noticed the president's ignorance during the campaign and began demagoguing Exxon Mobil's profits.
'Smooth But Pure Demagogue '.
The Rise of a New York City Demagogue An anti-Semitic radical may win an open congressional seat.
He is a demagogue who could be joining the US House next year as the representative of New York's Eighth Congressional District.
Joe Barton says Democrats out 'to demagogue and embarrass' oil companies.
Meet the anti-Israel demagogue who will likely be Egypt's next president.
Blues Bytes – Demagogue in Denim – Rev.
Not even the demagogue Joe McCarthy ever went that far.
In just three days the far right wing editorial contributors to this paper (and others) have managed to insult, blame, and demagogue the mainstream national press.
The fight over US energy policy has been the dominant message on the Presidential campaign trail this week: who's got it right, who's pandering and who's been a demagogue.
Descriptors like "homo demagogue," contrarian, separatist, and anti-White are just a few that can be expressed in polite company.
Sadly, a once mostly honorable party has devolved into demagogues peddling gross deceptions.
Republicans won't win back the White House following Norquist, an unelected demagogue.
President demagogues on Social Security in his weekly radio address.
The leadership vacuum could provide bad actors with an opening to demagogue US intervention in the region.
***