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

Since that particular tour, Leggero and Kasher became parents to a daughter, born last year, so expect some new takes on motherhood in addition to the veteran comic’s usual shockingly satirical takes on class, elitism, and celebrity culture. Nick Vadala, https://www.inquirer.com, "Need a laugh? These comedians will give you all the giggles on stages in Philadelphia, Atlantic City and beyond," 5 June 2019 Few institutions have suffered the backlash against elitism and credentialism as much as central banks, which are mostly run by professional economists. ... Greg Ip, WSJ, "What You Need to Be on the Fed...and It Isn’t a Ph.D.," 14 Apr. 2019 Some even accused the art of elitism, saying they were disappointed that the only way to appreciate the installation was to get a special VIP pass to view it from a balcony. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Amid gripes, Louvre pyramid celebrates 30 years with collage," 30 Mar. 2019 There’s a tension with Studio 54 between elitism and egalitarianism. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Matt Tyrnauer’s New Documentary, Studio 54, Takes On the Rise, Fall, and Last Days of Disco," 4 Oct. 2018 The private schools that have chosen to drop the APs intend it not as a gesture of elitism, of course, but as a vote for learning-for-learning’s-sake. Caitlin Macy, WSJ, "AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer," 22 Feb. 2019 There’s a difference between the elites and elitism, which is a set of policies that help the elite. Eric Johnson, Recode, "We have to rewrite antitrust law to deal with tech monopolies, says ‘Positive Populism’ author Steve Hilton," 24 Oct. 2018 The proliferation of expensive gear with dubious advantages has created anxiety over the future of the sport, raising questions about elitism and whether the youngest participants are being taught that success can be bought. New York Times, "Young Swimmers May Have to Wait to Dress Like Katie Ledecky," 11 May 2018 Chris Hahn, Chris Matthews made some interesting comments about creeping elitism in your party. Fox News, "Former Miss America on pageant dropping swimsuit competition," 6 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.

See More

First Known Use of elitism

1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about elitism

Dictionary Entries near elitism



elite seed





Statistics for elitism

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elitism

The first known use of elitism was in 1934

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on elitism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elitism

Comments on elitism

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


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things 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!