cro·​ny | \ ˈkrō-nē \
plural cronies

Definition of crony

: a close friend especially of long standing : pal played golf with his cronies

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Examples of crony in a Sentence

The mayor rewarded his cronies with high-paying jobs after he was elected. the criminal's cronies were also closely questioned about the illegal gambling operation

Recent Examples on the Web

This isn’t a rogue judicial operation to choose presidential cronies. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Never Conservatives," 3 Oct. 2018 Who was exactly what President Obama described in his speech as a strongman who demolished the institutions within South African and engaged in sort of crony capitalism and undermined a sense of democracy. Fox News, "Laura Ingraham: Anatomy of a freak out," 19 July 2018 Corruption, repression, electoral cheating, the sale of state assets to cronies, even the use of violence—all served to give democracy a bad name, not least in Russia itself. Margaret Macmillan, WSJ, "1989: The Year of Unfulfilled Hopes," 28 Dec. 2018 Today's Democrat Party is held hostage by left-wing haters, angry mobs, deep state radicals, establishment cronies, and their fake news allies. Fox News, "Kevin McCarthy leads charge against social media censorship," 30 Aug. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Western leaders took care to explain that their confrontation is with Mr Putin and his cronies. The Economist, "Western governments expel Russian diplomats," 28 Mar. 2018 So his circus cronies barge into a fancy party, with the Bearded Lady belting this song. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sells a fantasy of empowerment. I sorta believed it.," 3 Dec. 2018 When Alfredo, a carpenter, accuses Achille of sabotaging his work, Achille and his cronies pluck the man from his pew during a funeral mass. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 The United Bid is rock-solid, with a forceful, persuasive arsenal that guarantees state-of-the-art stadiums, flawless infrastructure and, for the salivating cronies at FIFA, the certainty of ground-breaking revenue heights. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "2026 World Cup vote: Does the United Bid or Morocco hold the advantage?," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crony

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crony

perhaps from Greek chronios long-lasting, from chronos time

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Statistics for crony

Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for crony

The first known use of crony was in 1656

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English Language Learners Definition of crony

disapproving : a close friend of someone especially : a friend of someone powerful (such as a politician) who is unfairly given special treatment or favors


cro·​ny | \ ˈkrō-nē \
plural cronies

Kids Definition of crony

: a close friend especially of someone powerful (as a politician)

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More from Merriam-Webster on crony

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crony

Spanish Central: Translation of crony

Nglish: Translation of crony for Spanish Speakers

Comments on crony

What made you want to look up crony? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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