cro·​ny·​ism | \ ˈkrō-nē-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce cronyism (audio) \

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 Anti-war, anti-cronyism, anti-debt, anti-torture, anti-death penalty, anti-war on drugs, anti-spying, pro-personal freedom, pro-truth. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: The Iowa caucuses, in all their weird glory," 8 Jan. 2020 Corruption and cronyism were causing bank failures as early as 2017 — before President Donald Trump’s administration re-imposed the crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy. Eli Lake, Twin Cities, "Eli Lake: Why is Europe bailing out Iran’s regime now?," 4 Dec. 2019 And Malta’s Joseph Muscat will leave office next month amid accusations of corruption and cronyism related to the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Amazon’s Web," 2 Dec. 2019 And though analytics might be the new way of doing things in baseball, cronyism still apparently is the primary governing structure. Ann Killion,, "Why did Giants hire Gabe Kapler? Gut feeling beat out hard truths," 13 Nov. 2019 Protesters in both countries point to it as the root cause of endemic corruption and cronyism. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "Protests toppled two governments in three days, but the fight is only beginning," 2 Nov. 2019 After a sprawling, years-long investigation — into an Arkansas land deal, allegations of campaign finance violations, charges of cronyism — Clinton faced two articles of impeachment in the House. Los Angeles Times, "Impeach Clinton? Impeach Trump? What lawmakers said then, what they say now," 27 Sep. 2019 Parents initially were upset by a lack of community input on a school renovation project, but their concerns deepened to include district finances, bidding practices, potential conflicts of interest and cronyism. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Rebuked ex-Scottsdale Superintendent Denise Birdwell lands job at Fountain Hills charter school," 24 Oct. 2019 Portman and other senators sent a February 2016 letter to then-President Petro Poroshenko, urging him to tackle cronyism and corruption there. Jessie Balmert,, "Trump's personal lawyer - not Ohio's Rob Portman - became the point person on Ukraine. 'I don't know why the president would turn to him.'," 17 Oct. 2019

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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The first known use of cronyism was in 1840

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cronyism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cronyism


How to pronounce cronyism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cronyism

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cronyism

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cronyism

Comments on cronyism

What made you want to look up cronyism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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