elit·ism | \ ā-ˈlē-ˌti-zəm , i- , ē- \

Definition of elitism 

1 : leadership or rule by an elite

2 : the selectivity of the elite especially : snobbery elitism in choosing new members

3 : consciousness of being or belonging to an elite

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Other words from elitism

elitist \ā-ˈlē-tist, i-, ē- \ noun or adjective

Examples of elitism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Their populist combination of elitism with a reform agenda appears to have given voters more confidence in the ability of Sadr and Geagea to implement reform than in the prospect of independent voices to change the system. Renad Mansour, Washington Post, "An emerging populism is sweeping the Middle East," 11 July 2018 Trump is delivering both a relentless assault on the American mind while at the same time promoting the worst forms of old-fashioned credentialist elitism. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "‘Populist’ Trump Turns Up Nose at Public University Graduates," 9 July 2018 The cruel elitism of our current political moment undermines the rights of all Floridians. miamiherald, "Leigh-Ann Buchanan," 30 June 2018 President Trump slams Democratic elitism, his fiery remarks, a little but even more than that, next. Fox News, "GOP delays House vote on 'compromise' immigration bill," 22 June 2018 Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter The common thread in these statements is Einstein’s clear (and extreme) intellectual elitism. Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Time, "The Real Lesson of the Racial Slurs in Albert Einstein’s Private Travel Diaries," 19 June 2018 First, in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 economic crash, Republicans won the messaging game, branding Democrats as the party of technocratic elitism and themselves as the economic populists. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Where Is Barack Obama?," 24 June 2018 People, whose elitism was defined only by having children or having once been a child, all agreed. John Dickerson, CBS News, "On separating families, the human tribe spoke loudest," 22 June 2018 In the harsh comments in his 1922 travel diary, that same elitism comes into play, this time through an ethnic lens. Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Time, "The Real Lesson of the Racial Slurs in Albert Einstein’s Private Travel Diaries," 19 June 2018

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

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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elite seed





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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for elitism

The first known use of elitism was in 1947

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