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 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 Donald Trump, the guy that after that tax bill passed went to Mar-A-Lago, got together with his cronies and said 'Guess what? Christine Romans, CNN, "Democrats need to sharpen their attacks on the Trump economy," 17 Oct. 2019 His family and their cronies are making policy decisions in backroom deals. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "'I'll miss you dearly': Sen. Warren announces her oldest brother died from coronavirus," 23 Apr. 2020 Much of the splatter takes place inside a rundown meeting hall for war veterans, where Fred (Stephen Lang) and his cronies (including William Sadler, Fred Williamson and Martin Kove) drink and wax nostalgic about their exploits in Vietnam. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "‘VFW’ Review: Old Soldiers, New War," 13 Feb. 2020 Consider how the president, his Republican cronies and the right-wing media reacted to the release this week of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Rex Huppke,, "Column: Exhausted by Trump World’s lies? Hold fast to the truth. It’s the only path.," 11 Dec. 2019

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

13 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on crony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crony

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crony

Spanish Central: Translation of crony

Nglish: Translation of crony for Spanish Speakers

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