he·​ge·​mo·​ny | \ hi-ˈje-mə-nē How to pronounce hegemony (audio) , -ˈge-; ˈhe-jə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce hegemony (audio) \

Definition of hegemony

1 : preponderant influence or authority over others : domination battled for hegemony in Asia
2 : the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group

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Other Words from hegemony

hegemonic \ ˌhe-​jə-​ˈmä-​nik How to pronounce hegemonic (audio) , ˌhe-​gə-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

Hegemony comes to English from the Greek hēgemonia, a noun formed from the verb hēgeisthai ("to lead"), which also gave us the word exegesis ("exposition" or "explanation"). The word was first used in English in the mid-16th century in reference to the control once wielded by the ancient Greek states, and it was reapplied in later centuries as other nations subsequently rose to power. By the 20th century, it had acquired a second sense referring to the social or cultural influence wielded by a dominant member over others of its kind, such as the domination within an industry by a business conglomerate over smaller businesses.

Examples of hegemony in a Sentence

… the very concept of "scientific truth" can only represent a social construction invented by scientists (whether consciously or not) as a device to justify their hegemony over the study of nature. — Stephen Jay Gould, Science, 14 Jan. 2000 When Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, in June of 1941, distracted Japan's traditional rival for hegemony in East Asia, Japanese expansionists saw a historic opportunity. — David M. Kennedy, Atlantic, March 1999 If mermaids had ceased to challenge scientific hegemony, other similarly mythological creatures rushed in to fill their places in Victorian hearts and minds. — Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and the Mermaid, 1997 They discussed the national government's hegemony over their tribal community. European intellectuals have long debated the consequences of the hegemony of American popular culture around the world.
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Recent Examples on the Web

At the time, Apple seemed like a has-been, a maker of niche products for nerds who disdained the corporate hegemony of Microsoft but didn’t want to learn enough about computers to build their own open-source machines from scratch. Sam Dean, latimes.com, "How Jony Ive, Apple’s design guru, planned his own obsolescence," 28 June 2019 The action begins in January, 1978, in Hell’s Kitchen, on the far West Side of Manhattan, where the longtime hegemony of Irish immigrants—and their criminal gangs—is waning. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“The Kitchen,” Reviewed: An Engrossing Mob-Wife Drama That’s Relegated to a Table Read," 8 Aug. 2019 That’s nothing compared to battling bots launched by sophisticated and deep-pocketed nefarious actors bent on destroying democratic hegemony, particularly in an environment where even the truth has been politicized. Jeff Berman, Vox, "Big Tech needs regulation, but DC must go to school before it goes to work," 14 June 2019 Mississippi’s next-door neighbors, Louisiana and Alabama, have broken from right-wing hegemony in recent years as well, electing a Democratic governor and a Democratic U.S. senator, respectively. Bob Moser, The New Yorker, "Mississippi’s Race for Governor Tests the Limits of Conservatism," 2 Aug. 2019 As Russia seeks to evade the hegemony of the dollar, the yuan is becoming a bigger part of its foreign-currency reserves (the share of dollars fell by half to 23% during 2018, while the yuan’s share grew from 3% to 14%). The Economist, "Partnership is much better for China than it is for Russia," 27 July 2019 The music magazine’s new chart is a challenge to the hegemony of Billboard magazine’s ranking system, the industry standard since the 1930s. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Is Rolling Stone’s new music chart worth paying attention to?," 6 July 2019 Orbán is smart enough to know that Hunnic hordes and pan-Turkic brotherhoods are useful ways of maintaining his hegemony through popular enthusiasm. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 The debate access rules are only one of a myriad of ways the duopoly protects the current failing system from challenge to its hegemony. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ross Perot changed American politics by disrupting Republicans and Democrats alike. We can learn from that.," 11 July 2019

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

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hegemony

Greek hēgemonia, from hēgemōn leader, from hēgeisthai to lead — more at seek

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Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for hegemony

The first known use of hegemony was in 1567

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English Language Learners Definition of hegemony

formal : influence or control over another country, a group of people, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hegemony

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hegemony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hegemony

Spanish Central: Translation of hegemony

Nglish: Translation of hegemony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hegemony for Arabic Speakers

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