AskDefine | Define pamphleteer

Dictionary Definition

pamphleteer n : a writer of pamphlets (usually taking a partisan stand on public issues)

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

pamphlet + suffix -eer

Pronunciation

(Canada) /ˌpæmfləˈtɪr/

Noun

  1. a writer or publisher of pamphlets, a second-rate journalist
    • 1713: Jonathan Swift, The Journal to Stella
      The Commons are very slow in bringing in their Bill to limit the press, and the pamphleteers make good use of their time; for there come out three or four every day.
    • 1891: Oscar Wilde, Intentions
      but Charles Reade, an artist, a scholar, a man with a true sense of beauty, raging and roaring over the abuses of contemporary life like a common pamphleteer or a sensational journalist, is really a sight for the angels to weep over.

Extensive Definition

A pamphleteer is a historical term for someone who creates or distributes pamphlets. Pamphlets were used to broadcast the writer's opinions on an issue, for example, in order to get people to vote for their favorite politician or to articulate a particular political ideology.
A famous pamphleteer of the American Revolutionary War was Thomas Paine. Another famous pamphleteer was Witte the With. Today a pamphleteer might communicate his missives by way of weblog, but before the advent of telecommunications, those with access to a printing press and a supply of paper used the pamphlet as a means of mass communications outside of newspapers or full-fledged books.
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