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 Halston, Joe, and Elsa take her creation to David and his crony at Norton Simon, and the businessmen are not amused. Whitney Friedlander, Vulture, 14 May 2021 Edward nevertheless kept him on as a crony and adviser. Washington Post, 5 May 2021 This windfall of crony capitalism, provided at taxpayer expense, is 10 times the $17 billion that the plan would spend to improve the nation’s ports and waterways. Jeffrey H. Anderson, Washington Examiner, 22 Apr. 2021 But the closing of Canada’s ports-of-call for a second straight summer because of Covid-19 is illuminating the downside of this crony capitalism. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, 4 Apr. 2021 Unlike some Trump appointees — including former Attorney General William Barr — Wray hasn't been seen as a Trump crony. Michael Mcgough And Los Angeles Times (tns), Star Tribune, 25 Jan. 2021 This month a trove of 16-year-old emails came into public view showing how one of Mr. Putin’s crony scions, Kirill Shamalov, became an overnight billionaire after marrying Mr. Putin’s daughter. WSJ, 22 Dec. 2020 The repression is partly an outcome of Mr. Maduro’s decision to abandon the wealth redistribution policies of his late predecessor, Hugo Chávez, in favor of what amounts to crony capitalism to survive American sanctions. New York Times, 19 Nov. 2020 In addition, the GOP needs to address crony capitalism, which often exacerbates the gap between the rich and poor. Robert Stein, National Review, 15 Nov. 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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Statistics for crony

Last Updated

25 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for crony



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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