One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A supporter of a type of socialism originating amongst the Russian intelligentsia in the late 19th cent. and which looked on the peasants and intellectuals as revolutionary forces; a Russian populist. In extended use: a person who tries to politicize a community of rural or urban poor while sharing their living conditions.
Late 19th century. From Russian narodnik from narod people + -nik.
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