from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- suffix One that performs a specified action: lobbyist.
- suffix One that produces, makes, operates, plays, or is connected with a specified thing: novelist.
- suffix A specialist in a specified art, science, or skill: biologist.
- suffix An adherent or advocate of a specified doctrine, theory, or school of thought: anarchist.
- suffix One that is characterized by a specified trait or quality: romanticist.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- suffix Added to words to form nouns denoting:
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A noun suffix denoting an agent, or doer, one who practices, a believer in
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.