From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:
Apologist \A*pol"o*gist\, noun [Cf. F. apologiste.] One who makes an apology; one who speaks or writes in defense of a faith, a cause, or an institution; especially, one who argues in defense of Christianity.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:
68 Moby Thesaurus words for "apologist": Maecenas, Philadelphia lawyer, abettor, admirer, advocate, aficionado, angel, apologete, apologizer, arguer, argufier, backer, buff, casuist, champion, controversialist, debater, defender, dependence, disceptator, disputant, encourager, endorser, exponent, fan, favorer, friend at court, guard, guardhouse lawyer, justifier, logomacher, logomachist, lover, mainstay, maintainer, mooter, paladin, paranymph, partisan, patron, pilpulist, pleader, polemic, polemicist, polemist, promoter, proponent, protagonist, protector, reliance, second, seconder, sectary, sider, sponsor, stalwart, standby, successful advocate, support, supporter, sustainer, sympathizer, upholder, vindicator, votary, well-wisher, whitewasher, wrangler
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