cro·​ny | \ ˈkrō-nē How to pronounce crony (audio) \
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 To Trump, everyone is either a crony to be exploited or an adversary to be defeated and humiliated. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "Trumps on the Couch," 8 Sep. 2020 None of this evidence suggests crony boards are overpaying CEOs. Kevin A. Hassett, National Review, "Five Questions for Ed Conard," 21 Aug. 2020 That empowers politicians to interfere even more, using the populist slogan of saving jobs to encourage crony capitalism. Iain Murray, National Review, "Tariffs Are Bad, Especially during a Pandemic," 17 Aug. 2020 This latest example of blatant crony capitalism gets buried in the shuffle of other news. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "As millions worry about unemployment benefits, Kodak get a $765 million loan via the White House," 6 Aug. 2020 The railway act, with its crony capitalism and funny-money bond issues, led straight to the Gilded Age and the creation of half a dozen robber-baron fortunes. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020 But a tiff over Kubiak’s desires to fill out his staff with cronies forced an awkward break-up in his longtime bromance with Elway, and led Kubiak to a job as assistant head coach and offensive advisor in Minnesota, where Sloter is now thriving. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Are Buzzkill Broncos so bad on offense it will again doom star linebacker Von Miller to failure in 2019?," 27 Aug. 2019 What little positive that has been done at the national level has been the remaining shreds of the federal bureaucracy that Trump hasn't torn up, or filled with idiot cronies, operating on autopilot. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "America's coronavirus death toll has been a bipartisan achievement," 22 May 2020 Orbán extracts a great deal from the bloc—including money (much of which is siphoned off to his cronies). Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, "The Coronavirus Exposes the EU’s Limited Power," 2 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for crony

Time Traveler

The first known use of crony was in 1656

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Statistics for crony

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for crony


How to pronounce crony (audio)

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 How to pronounce crony (audio) \
plural cronies

Kids Definition of crony

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

More from Merriam-Webster on crony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crony

Nglish: Translation of crony for Spanish Speakers

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