Word of the Week: demagogue (DĔM-ə-gôg)


(Noun) In a bad sense: A leader of a popular faction, or of the mob; a political agitator who appeals to the passions and prejudices of the mob in order to obtain power or further his own interests; an unprincipled or factious popular orator.

In Context

“Because of his enormous personal power – built on an immense fortune, the proprietorship of a media empire, the rhetorical skills of a demagogue and the control of a political party that he created – Mr. Berlusconi has been able to attain the loyalty of many people.”

Maurizio Viroli, “Can Italy Put Berlusconi Behind It?” The New York Times, November 11, 2011.