Definition of populist in English:

populist

noun

  • 1A member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.

    • ‘Despite political protests from anti-American populists in Manila, the potent tool of U.S. airpower may well be applied.’
    • ‘The conversion of Bustamante from a conservative Democrat to a populist has been rather sudden.’
    • ‘The White Australia policy was particularly championed by the ALP, the emerging trade union aristocracy and a whole host of petty bourgeois populists.’
    • ‘At first, this was interpreted as just one of many threats made by the right-wing populist to intimidate his internal party adversaries.’
    • ‘The populists and anarchists simply have no theory of the unpredictable ups and downs of capitalist growth which bolster and erode bourgeois domination of society.’
    • ‘I think that this party has a big future, because no other party, apart from the populist and far-right parties, can be present in the difficult areas and housing estates.’
    • ‘And the only parties fighting on specifically European issues are the the UK Independence party and other populists desperate to leave the union.’
    • ‘There was a time when the Democratic party was populist / progressive - William Jennings Bryan was our guy.’
    • ‘Zizek maintains that today the new rightist populists are the only political force which attempts to address the people with anti-capitalist rhetoric to mobilize the working class.’
    • ‘Moreover, he was something new in this state with an historic taste for populism - a centrist populist.’
    • ‘The fact is that our Parliament is peopled largely by populists whose interest lies, so they say, in representing their voters.’
    • ‘The backlash against the theory of evolution resonated not only with religious fundamentalists, but also with political and economic populists.’
    • ‘Its members ranged from patricians to populists, from Main Street Republicans to prairie socialists.’
    • ‘In common with other right-wing European populists, Havel's campaign is nothing other than a cover for the dismantling of democratic rights and the establishment of an authoritarian regime faithful to the president.’
    • ‘Like other populists, Chavez disdains any party institutionalization that might constrain his personal autonomy.’
    • ‘I was interested in this notion of Grisham the Populist, based on reading the book reviews and seeing several Grisham flicks.’
    • ‘This view, albeit hostile, highlights the essence of the phenomenon that evolved through the parallel activities of anarchists, populists, and syndicalists, as well as nihilists in Lenin's youth.’
    • ‘The party defined the new Turkey as nationalist, republican, populist, secular, statist, and revolutionary.’
    • ‘In Manning's opinion, Harper is not a populist in the democratic reform tradition.’
    • ‘Toledo's main rival in the elections was former president Alan García of the populist APRA party.’
    1. 1.1 A person who supports or seeks to appeal to the concerns of ordinary people.
      ‘he claims to be a populist, yet elevates himself above the masses’
      • ‘The meat-packing industry did not enjoy a positive image in the minds of the Canadian public, viewed by many populists as part of a much larger ‘big-business’ monopoly.’
      • ‘The conservatives support Koizumi's diplomatic negotiation, while the populists criticize him.’
      • ‘Instead he is becoming a Shi'ite populist whose appeal will be enhanced by American accusations of treachery.’
      • ‘He is viewed as an economic populist and a social conservative.’
      • ‘His supporters say the left-leaning populist is a visionary, but his detractors call him a dangerous lunatic.’
      • ‘But beyond anger, the defining characteristic of cultural populists is that they view themselves as victims of murky forces operating behind the scenes.’
      • ‘Finally, and unforgivably in the view of my neighbours, our anti-liberal populists can't even get Islington right.’
      • ‘Yet these same white populists supported legislation that denied a minimum wage or labor protection to agricultural and domestic workers (mainly people of color) as part of the New Deal.’

adjective

  • Relating to or characteristic of a populist or populists.

    ‘populist tabloid newspapers’
    • ‘It seemed to many that the revered Constitution was really the bulwark of powerful economic interests and, therefore, the enemy of more egalitarian and populist policies.’
    • ‘In fact, it is being shut down by populist Labour councillors who have whipped up fear among the local residents.’
    • ‘But to undercut Edwards' populist image, the Republicans suggest that Edwards should have done just that.’
    • ‘At the same time, the Union parties and the SPD are preparing to divert popular anger over government policy by means of right-wing populist campaigns.’
    • ‘It's unlikely that the IHA seeks to return the Emperor to the position that he once held but it's equally unlikely that it favours a democratic, populist approach to the monarchy.’
    • ‘Today he continued to strike the defiant, populist tone that characterized his campaign.’
    • ‘European social democracy cannot allow populist discontent to become a monopoly of the right.’
    • ‘I would grant the relative singularity of American institutions but then see this lack as an element of populist democracy rejected by others in the name of good government.’
    • ‘We often underestimate the weight that our voice carries among military and populist leaders alike.’
    • ‘A nation divided by populist rhetoric will weaken and fail.’
    • ‘How is the defeat of neo-liberal policies by populist leaders adopting leftist slogans to be explained?’
    • ‘Well, I say a bit of reductionism is a good thing - it stops the waters being muddied so much by name-calling and populist propaganda.’
    • ‘He warns that it is not enough to spread democracy: it must be a liberal democracy that mitigates the negative effects of reckless populist democracy.’
    • ‘Arrayed against them are postmodernists and leftists as well as populist nationalists who have revived Maoist ideas about people power.’
    • ‘He was imprisoned in 1915, but in 1918 the powerful, populist leader was released in the hope that he might be able to contain growing army unrest.’
    • ‘He sounds much more populist than most Democrats do.’
    • ‘The CSU has consistently worked inside the Union for the integration of nationalist and right-wing populist forces.’
    • ‘Its election manifesto is replete with populist rhetoric opposing privatisation and defending the public sector.’
    • ‘It also serves to mobilise despairing layers of society for a right-wing programme and garner support for the government with populist demagogy.’
    • ‘But Schröder sees only the work of populist demagogues.’
    elected, representative, parliamentary, popular, of the people
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century (originally referring to a US political party): from Latin populus ‘people’ + -ist.

Pronunciation

populist

/ˈpɒpjʊlɪst/