American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One that performs a specified action: lobbyist.
- n. One that produces, makes, operates, plays, or is connected with a specified thing: novelist.
- n. A specialist in a specified art, science, or skill: biologist.
- n. An adherent or advocate of a specified doctrine, theory, or school of thought: anarchist.
- n. One that is characterized by a specified trait or quality: romanticist.
- n. Added to words to form nouns denoting:
GNU Webster's 1913
- A noun suffix denoting an agent, or doer, one who practices, a believer in
- From Old French -iste and Latin -ista, from Ancient Greek -ιστής (istēs). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English -iste, from Old French, from Latin -istēs, -ista, from Greek -istēs, agent n. suff. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It is rooted in the Latin terrere, “to frighten,” and the -ist was coined in France to castigate the perpetrators of the Reign of Terror.”
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