How do you spell Hannukah?


[dem-uh-gog, -gawg] /ˈdɛm əˌgɒg, -ˌgɔg/
a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
(in ancient times) a leader of the people.
verb (used with object), demagogued, demagoguing.
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.
to speak or act like a demagogue.
Also, demagog.
1640-50; < Greek dēmagōgós a leader of the people, popular leader, equivalent to dêm(os) people + agōgós leading, guiding; see -agogue Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for demagogues
  • Give an opportunity to capture a rostrum to too expressive persons, demagogues and phrase-mongers.
  • It might have gone further, and stated that demagogues control the faucet, and take care of whatever flows therefrom.
  • There are other demagogues there now who have and continue to foment war.
  • Betty's scheming co-workers resent her in the same way immigration demagogues do: she's an interloper.
  • Naturally, our elected demagogues use improving results or declining standards as suits the mood of the moment.
  • The conditions are ripe for demagogues and amateurs to take the scene.
  • There will always be propagandists and demagogues, seeking to inflame our baser natures to accomplish darker goals.
  • Simply the free market filling the need for crazy talk with demagogues.
  • But fanatics and demagogues had far less influence in those pre-sensitive days.
  • Do it as isolated from lobbyists, political action committees and demagogues.
British Dictionary definitions for demagogues


a political agitator who appeals with crude oratory to the prejudice and passions of the mob
(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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for demagogues



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.).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
demagogues 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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for demagogue

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for demagogues

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with demagogues