heg·​e·​mon | \ ˈhe-jə-ˌmän How to pronounce hegemon (audio) , ˈhē- \

Definition of hegemon

: something (such as a political state) having dominant influence or authority over others : one possessing hegemony These were the periods in which England and then America filled the role of hegemon— Robert Heilbroner The American self-image of a mighty power that is also a benign hegemon, the global custodian of democratic values and human rights, is deeply rooted.— Allister Sparks

Examples of hegemon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Today, however, American soft power faces serious challenges from a slew of Asian countries, increasingly recognized as cultural hegemons themselves. Fatima Bhutto, Time, "The End of America's Cultural Hegemony Is Here," 14 Dec. 2019 After the Second World War, when the U.S. emerged as the new global hegemon, the magazine—despite some initial resentment, commonplace among British élites at the time—quickly adjusted itself to the Pax Americana. Pankaj Mishra, The New Yorker, "Liberalism According to The Economist," 4 Nov. 2019 Many in the movement portray themselves as struggling against an authoritarian hegemon, whereas the establishment characterizes the movement as riotous vandalism incited by socioeconomic woes and foreign interference. Brian Wong, Time, "'One Country, Two Systems' Is Still the Best Model for Hong Kong, But It Badly Needs Reform," 30 Oct. 2019 But if China becomes the 5G hegemon of the 21st century, America will be increasingly relegated to the past, rather than the future, of advanced technologies. Arthur L. Herman, National Review, "America Needs to Win the Battle for 5G Supremacy," 24 Sep. 2019 Historically, the emergence of a peer competitor to an existing hegemon has always resulted in bloodshed. Nicholas Phillips, National Review, "The Trade War Is Smart Geopolitics," 5 Sep. 2019 The hegemon exhibits power by rising above such tawdry tricks. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Donald Trump’s Iran Show," 24 June 2019 Foreign experts are noticing that Chinese elites are increasingly willing to talk about how the West is finished and how China is the benevolent hegemon of the future. Margaret Macmillan, WSJ, "1989: The Year of Unfulfilled Hopes," 28 Dec. 2018 Perhaps in a decade or two historians will look back and point to this policy or that event as the turning-point in China’s emergence as a financial hegemon. The Economist, "Why foreigners are keen buyers of Chinese government bonds," 28 June 2018

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

1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hegemon

Greek hēgemōn

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The first known use of hegemon was in 1904

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hegemon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemon. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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