A fearmonger is a person who exaggerates a situation, playing upon the fears of the listener. A tool often used by politicians, fearmongering helps detract attention from things that the listener would pay attention to if not for the distraction provided by the panic engendered. When people are scared, their sense of reason usually vanishes, enabling the fearmonger to manipulate their actions.

The root word, monger, means salesman or peddler. It can mean a trader in a commodity, such as an ironmonger or fishmonger, but is used mostly as a pejorative: warmonger, hatemonger, scandalmonger, etc.