cro·ny·ism | \ ˈkrō-nē-ˌi-zəm \

Definition of cronyism 

: partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications

Examples of cronyism in a Sentence

The mayor has been accused of cronyism.

Recent Examples on the Web

To end the misallocation of resources caused by small-business cronyism, public policy should be guided by the principle of size neutrality. Robert D. Atkinson, WSJ, "Stop Propping Up Small Business," 6 Apr. 2018 Many of the practices that have bogged down the hiring process were put in place in 1952 to fight cronyism and patronage, the tradition of handing out jobs based on a person’s friends and family. Juliana Feliciano Reyes,, "'Cumbersome, inflexible, and slow': It can take a year to get hired by the city, Pew finds," 26 June 2018 Dissenting voices are purged, cronyism is rewarded, and nonmilitary government workers feel under attack. Nicholas Zimmerman, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Washington Insiders Decide to Leak," 16 May 2018 Meantime, Iran is domestically crumbling under the weight of inflation, unemployment, corruption and cronyism. Eliora Katz, WSJ, "Iranians Are Now Chanting ‘Death to Palestine’," 13 July 2018 The scandal and another alleged cronyism case linked to Abe have stung him since last year and hurt his support ratings. Washington Post, "Japan’s prime minister heads to Russia for talks with Putin," 24 May 2018 And any one of those political actors can derail progress through corruption, cronyism or simple neglect. Max Fisher, Amanda Taub And Dalia MartÍnez, New York Times, "Losing Faith in the State, Some Mexican Towns Quietly Break Away," 7 Jan. 2018 An increasing government role in the economy has led to charges of cronyism and corruption, with critics complaining of insiders becoming fabulously wealthy on government contracts and sweetheart deals. New York Times,, "After winning new powers, Erdogan must now deliver," 25 June 2018 Petro and his team argue that Venezuela’s economic collapse and rampant hunger have more to do with corruption and cronyism than the country’s adherence to socialist policies. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "How the chaos in Venezuela may influence who becomes president of Colombia," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cronyism.' 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 cronyism

1840, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cronyism

The first known use of cronyism was in 1840

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English Language Learners Definition of cronyism

: the unfair practice by a powerful person (such as a politician) of giving jobs and other favors to friends

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