Definition of populist in English:

populist

noun

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

    • ‘The party defined the new Turkey as nationalist, republican, populist, secular, statist, and revolutionary.’
    • ‘At first, this was interpreted as just one of many threats made by the right-wing populist to intimidate his internal party adversaries.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Manning's opinion, Harper is not a populist in the democratic reform tradition.’
    • ‘There was a time when the Democratic party was populist / progressive - William Jennings Bryan was our guy.’
    • ‘Like other populists, Chavez disdains any party institutionalization that might constrain his personal autonomy.’
    • ‘The White Australia policy was particularly championed by the ALP, the emerging trade union aristocracy and a whole host of petty bourgeois populists.’
    • ‘Its members ranged from patricians to populists, from Main Street Republicans to prairie socialists.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The conversion of Bustamante from a conservative Democrat to a populist has been rather sudden.’
    • ‘Toledo's main rival in the elections was former president Alan García of the populist APRA party.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And the only parties fighting on specifically European issues are the the UK Independence party and other populists desperate to leave the union.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was interested in this notion of Grisham the Populist, based on reading the book reviews and seeing several Grisham flicks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The backlash against the theory of evolution resonated not only with religious fundamentalists, but also with political and economic populists.’
    • ‘Despite political protests from anti-American populists in Manila, the potent tool of U.S. airpower may well be applied.’
    1. 1.1A person who supports or seeks to appeal to the concerns of ordinary people.
      ‘she is something of a populist—her views on immigration resemble those of the right-wing tabloid press’
      • ‘His supporters say the left-leaning populist is a visionary, but his detractors call him a dangerous lunatic.’
      • ‘Finally, and unforgivably in the view of my neighbours, our anti-liberal populists can't even get Islington right.’
      • ‘The conservatives support Koizumi's diplomatic negotiation, while the populists criticize him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But beyond anger, the defining characteristic of cultural populists is that they view themselves as victims of murky forces operating behind the scenes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is viewed as an economic populist and a social conservative.’
      • ‘Instead he is becoming a Shi'ite populist whose appeal will be enhanced by American accusations of treachery.’

adjective

  • Relating to or characteristic of a populist or populists.

    ‘populist tabloid newspapers’
    • ‘But to undercut Edwards' populist image, the Republicans suggest that Edwards should have done just that.’
    • ‘European social democracy cannot allow populist discontent to become a monopoly of the right.’
    • ‘Arrayed against them are postmodernists and leftists as well as populist nationalists who have revived Maoist ideas about people power.’
    • ‘Its election manifesto is replete with populist rhetoric opposing privatisation and defending the public sector.’
    • ‘The CSU has consistently worked inside the Union for the integration of nationalist and right-wing populist forces.’
    • ‘It also serves to mobilise despairing layers of society for a right-wing programme and garner support for the government with populist demagogy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How is the defeat of neo-liberal policies by populist leaders adopting leftist slogans to be explained?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In fact, it is being shut down by populist Labour councillors who have whipped up fear among the local residents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Today he continued to strike the defiant, populist tone that characterized his campaign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But Schröder sees only the work of populist demagogues.’
    • ‘A nation divided by populist rhetoric will weaken and fail.’
    • ‘He sounds much more populist than most Democrats do.’
    elected, representative, parliamentary, Popular, of the people, populist
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

populist

/ˈpɒpjʊlɪst/