a suffix of nouns, often accompanying verbs ending in -ise/-ize or nouns ending in -ism, denoting someone who does, practises, or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc., as in apologist, dramatist, machinist, plagiarist, realist, socialist, theorist.

{from (often directly) Greek -istēs noun suffix. See -ise1, -ism}

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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