elite

noun
\ ā-ˈlēt How to pronounce elite (audio) , i-, ē-\

Definition of elite

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a  singular or plural in construction : the choice part : cream the elite of the entertainment world
b  singular or plural in construction : the best of a class superachievers who dominate the computer elite— Marilyn Chase
c  singular or plural in construction : the socially superior part of society how the French-speaking elite … was changingEconomist
d : a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence members of the ruling elite
e : a member of such an elite usually used in plural the elites …, pursuing their studies in Europe— Robert Wernick
2 : a typewriter type providing 12 characters to the linear inch

elite

adjective

Definition of elite (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, serving, or being part of an elite seeking to attain elite status an elite group an elite institution/school often : superior in quality, rank, skill, etc. an elite performer an elite athlete an athlete with elite skills The elite chess players of today are of no school. They hail from all over the world … — Garry Kasparov

élite, élitism

Definition of élite (Entry 3 of 3)

chiefly British spellings of , elitism

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Examples of elite in a Sentence

Noun

the winners of this science award represent the elite of our high schools the country's elite owned or controlled most of the wealth

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

What was once design for the elite is now coming home to the rest of us. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Inside Collaborates with Scalamandré on First-Ever Heritage Collection," 19 Feb. 2019 In addition, party elites could compromise across it. Ezra Klein, Vox, "A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently," 18 Dec. 2018 And elites still question these efforts to break the silence? Will Bunch, Philly.com, "(Bleep) civility! 'Trump-shaming' is what happens when elites won't listen to the people | Will Bunch," 26 June 2018 One problem is that the liberal humor elite is increasingly shrill in its insistence that jokes be funny, or at least mildly amusing. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Swaggy P goes one joke over the line," 25 June 2018 When Trump took office, Washington elites were arguing over two options for dealing with Kim’s nukes: military intervention or learning to live with a nuclear North Korea through deterrence. Brian Bennett, Time, "This Is What Trump’s Impulsive Diplomacy Looks Like," 14 June 2018 Will other Hollywood elite soon join the resort’s fan club? Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Gwyneth Paltrow Has a New Go-To Vacation Spot: Costa Palmas," 1 June 2018 The artistic elite is not unique in the long-standing worry about what some scientists do behind closed doors without seeking the permission of society as a whole. Sean W. Fleming, WIRED, "Lessons from Montecito: Science's Credibility Is At Stake," 14 May 2018 Boston’s elites placed an outsize blame for their political woes on the urban landscape. Justin T. Clark, BostonGlobe.com, "Building Boston to shape morality," 14 Apr. 2018

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

Noun

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for elite

Noun

French élite, from Old French eslite, from feminine of eslit, past participle of eslire to choose, from Latin eligere

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Dictionary Entries near elite

elision

Elista

élite

elite

elite seed

elitism

elitist

Statistics for elite

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elite

The first known use of elite was in 1808

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More Definitions for elite

elite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of elite

: the people who have the most wealth and status in a society : the most successful or powerful group of people
US : a person who is a member of an elite : a successful and powerful person

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More from Merriam-Webster on elite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elite

Spanish Central: Translation of elite

Nglish: Translation of elite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elite for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elite

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