An Anonymous Coward writes:
The Guardian reports that "socialism" was the most looked-up word on Merriam-Webster's site this year, a change the American dictionary publisher attributes to US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has positioned of himself as a "democratic socialist".
As a socialist (or communist) myself, I personally think it's great that especially people from the United States try to figure out the meaning of the word beyond McCarthyism. I'm glad that people show interest in politics and finding out about positions of candidates.
Past years winners are available on Wikipedia.
It would be more accurate to say, using the terms of the authors, to call them "Socialist." But your description serves well enough. That is, socialist is what they were in fact. I'm not an expert on Stalinism as an ideology, but I can say that Maoism as an ideology was communism, albeit an agrarian one. The reason is the Chinese Communist Party got nowhere with classical Marxism. They tried and tried to bolster their ranks by recruiting the urban proletariat Marx predicted and described as those who would lead the revolution. But there were two problems with that, first, there was almost no urban proletariat to speak of at that time in China; second, the Japanese military controlled nearly all the major cities that had any degree of industrialization so every time the CCP tried to operate there they got their butts kicked. They were quite on the verge of extinction when Mao said, "hey guys, you do know that 99% of Chinese are rural peasants, right? We should do our recruiting there." So they did, Maoism was the ideological framework they used to make their case, and eventually they were able to triumph over the Japanese and the Nationalists.