• hegemony
  • audio pronunciation
  • \hih-JEM-uh-nee\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
: dominant influence or authority over others
2
: the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group
  • EXAMPLES

Consumers welcomed the diversification of the software market as smaller innovators challenged the hegemony of the large companies.

"In the novel, a United States aircraft carrier group is sunk in the Pacific Ocean by a mysterious wing of fighter jets, later revealed to bear the red star of the Soviet forces from the parallel dimension, crossing over into our world to turn back the tide of American hegemony." — Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times, August 20, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Hegemony comes to English from the Greek hēgemonia, a noun formed from the verb hēgeisthai ("to lead"), which also gave us the word exegesis ("exposition" or "explanation"). The word was first used in English in the mid-16th century in reference to the control once wielded by the ancient Greek states, and it was reapplied in later centuries as other nations subsequently rose to power. By the 20th century, it had acquired a second sense referring to the social or cultural influence wielded by a dominant member over others of its kind, such as the domination within an industry by a business conglomerate over smaller businesses.

Test Your Vocabulary: Fill in the blanks to create a word that can mean "unlimited power over a country": _ ov _ re _ _ nty. The answer is …

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