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(sometimes US), demagog
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



in ancient Greece, particularly in Athens of classical times, a term initially used for politicians of a democratic leaning (Themistocles and Pericles, for example). Gradually the term began to acquire a pejorative connotation among opponents of democracy. It came to refer to activists who sought to earn popularity through false promises, flattery at popular assemblies, and the like. The term has been preserved with this meaning in modern political terminology.

References in periodicals archive ?
This wholly blameless victim of virulent and widespread prejudice had to be sacrificed to appease the rage of all those who had been persuaded by demagogues to believe that Jews were traitors.
Most modern demagogues may be only vaguely aware of these precedents, if they know of them at all.
When any of my friends or relatives praise and support demagogues who engage in immoral political techniques, I lose respect for them.
During the McCarthy era a decade later, thousands of gay and lesbian civil servants were dismissed when right-wing demagogues and other politicians claimed that the Truman administration, particularly the State Department, was riddled with "sex perverts" and "moral degenerates.
It also brought around influential whites who recognized the futility of the "massive resistance" to court-ordered school desegregation urged by racist demagogues who aroused a populist counter-protest.
with temporary visitors' visas and then disappeared into the general population, demagogues and others would lead us to believe that all illegals are people who waded across the Rio Grande River, scaled border walls, or crawled into automobile trunks of sympathetic friends.
We find ourselves on the brink of a dangerous dark age when the ground gained since the founding of the NEA may be lost, the good and steady work of generations wiped out by noisy demagogues and philistines.
Objects of his satire included the demagogues Cleon and Hyperbolus and the wealthy Callias and Alcibiades and their fashionable circle.
The talk show demagogues are adept at manipulating anger and turning righteous resentment into fearful hatred of the oppressed.
Aristophanes lampooned war - mongers and demagogues repeatedly in his comedies.
THE HYPOCRISY of our political and journalistic demagogues reached new levels this week after the earth-shattering secret revealed by Phileleftheros that Greek Cypriot students and teachers had flown to Trabzon from Istanbul on Pegasus airlines.
We don't know the basics of our religion that is why demagogues find it easy to mislead us.