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demagogue

[dem-uh-gog, -gawg] /ˈdɛm əˌgɒg, -ˌgɔg/
noun
1.
a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
2.
(in ancient times) a leader of the people.
verb (used with object), demagogued, demagoguing.
3.
to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.
verb (used without object), demagogued, demagoguing.
4.
to speak or act like a demagogue.
Also, demagog.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; < Greek dēmagōgós a leader of the people, popular leader, equivalent to dêm(os) people + agōgós leading, guiding; see -agogue
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for demagogging

demagogue

/ˈdɛməˌɡɒɡ/
noun
1.
a political agitator who appeals with crude oratory to the prejudice and passions of the mob
2.
(esp in the ancient world) any popular political leader or orator
Word Origin
C17: from Greek dēmagōgos people's leader, from dēmos people + agein to lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for demagogging

demagogue

n.

1640s, from Greek demagogos "popular leader," also "leader of the mob," from demos "people" (see demotic) + agogos "leader," from agein "to lead" (see act (n.)). Often a term of disparagement since the time of its first use, in Athens, 5c. B.C.E. Form perhaps influenced by French demagogue (mid-14c.).

v.

by 1964, American English, from demagogue (n.). Related: Demagogued; demagoguing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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demagogging in Culture
demagogue [(dem-uh-gog, dem-uh-gawg)]

A politician who seeks to win and hold office by appeals to mass prejudice. Demagogues often use lies and distortion. (See Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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