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

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Other Words from elitism

elitist \ ā-​ˈlē-​tist How to pronounce elitist (audio) , i-​ , ē-​ How to pronounce elitist (audio) \ noun or adjective

Examples of elitism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 The implied accusations of elitism are strange and somewhat depressing, because the novel is not at all difficult to read or understand. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Critical Mass of Absurdist Misapprehensions," 30 Nov. 2018 These lessons are conduits of power, facilitating ways of knowing and doing that preserve and protect a culture of hyper-masculinity, elitism, and entitlement. Adam Howard, Vox, "I’ve spent decades studying elite schools. Here’s how their culture enables toxic masculinity.," 27 Sep. 2018 That's exactly why the story is important, because Alan Dershowitz struggles in his socialist struggling in the enclave of liberal elitism actually says something about the state of where liberal elites are, and that there is this intolerance. Fox News, "Media's Supreme Court scrutiny," 9 July 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

3 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for elitism

The first known use of elitism was in 1947

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