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

Their relationship also embodies the self-dealing crony capitalism that keeps Middle Eastern regimes—and increasingly the United States—afloat. Daniel Benjamin, The New York Review of Books, "Reckless in Riyadh," 30 May 2019 Prosecutors allege that Mazzacurati presided over a consortium where the original aim of saving Venice seems to have been forgotten amid bungs to political parties and cronies. Manfred Manera, Newsweek, "Civil War in Venice as Corruption Scandal Grows," 18 July 2014 Despite Sudan’s oil wealth, his people remained impoverished as cronies from his Islamist National Congress Party grew rich. ... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Downfall of a Dictator," 11 Apr. 2019 Elaine Wynn had described Hagenbuch as a crony of her ex-husband., "AAA predicts 37 million will take to the road for Memorial Day," 16 May 2018 Widespread land grabbing by Cambodian cronies and foreign investors triggered a tide of popular resentment and occasional violent resistance as the 2013 election approached. Fox News, "Hun Sen plays hardball to keep his grip on Cambodia," 31 July 2018 The expansion of the CPP’s central committee last year by more than 300 cronies smacks of trying to please everyone. The Economist, "Hun Sen, Cambodia’s ruler, has been in power too long," 22 Mar. 2018 That included restricting credit to particular Russian banks, energy companies and defense firms known to be controlled by his cronies and freezing assets and instituting travel bans on particular individuals. Dina Smeltz, Washington Post, "New poll shows Russians are defiant in face of U.S. sanctions," 26 Jan. 2018 That means whether or not Obama's cronies get their power back or whether the Trump agenda continues with its success. Fox News, "Rudy Giuliani reacts to Paul Manafort's plea deal," 14 Sep. 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

28 Jun 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 How to pronounce crony (audio) \
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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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