elit·​ism | \ ā-ˈlē-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce elitism (audio) , i-, ē- How to pronounce elitism (audio) \

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

Examples of elitism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The attention-grabber was that the opulent wine country restaurant is ultra-expensive and named the French Laundry, the words practically a synonym for elitism. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2021 The tech industry remains largely white and has not shed its reputation for elitism. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2021 Here, the story is based in more skittish black bourgeois art-world elitism. Armond White, National Review, 1 Sep. 2021 The elitism was crystallized for voters by Newsom’s boneheaded attendance in November at a lobbyist friend’s fancy birthday dinner with several people, none of them wearing masks and all dining inside. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2021 Adding to the disconnection is an inescapable touch of elitism. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2021 Pfizer elitism seems to have originated on TikTok, where the vaccine hierarchy has been most concretely outlined. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 30 Apr. 2021 The alternative is to perpetuate the exclusion and elitism upon which the spelling bee is based. Shalini Shankar, CNN, 8 July 2021 The program was inspired by Joe Lee, an affluent Bostonian with an eye for social justice, who wanted to give the West End’s working-class children opportunities to experience sailing, an activity often defined by elitism and exclusivity. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of elitism

1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About elitism

Time Traveler for elitism

Time Traveler

The first known use of elitism was in 1934

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near elitism

elite seed



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for elitism

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elitism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elitism. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!