I. noun suffix
Etymology: French -iste, from Latin -ista, -istes, from Greek -istēs, from verbs in -izein -ize
a. one that performs a (specified) action <cyclist> ; one that makes or produces a (specified) thing <novelist> b. one that plays a (specified) musical instrument <harpist> c. one that operates a (specified) mechanical instrument or contrivance <automobilist> 2. one that specializes in a (specified) art or science or skill <geologist> <ventriloquist> 3. one that adheres to or advocates a (specified) doctrine or system or code of behavior <socialist> <royalist> <hedonist> or that of a (specified) individual <Calvinist> <Darwinist> II. adjective suffix of, relating to, or characteristic of <elitist>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.