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 Fear of Iranian hegemony in the Middle East is a major cause of this trend. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 17 Sep. 2020 Football’s sociocultural hegemony is funny that way. Kent Russell, Harper's Magazine, "America’s Game," 15 Sep. 2020 And so no matter how bad the United States has looked over the past few years, the prospect of Chinese hegemony looks far worse to most people around the world. CBS News, "Historian Hal Brands on COVID-19's effect on world order," 9 Sep. 2020 Its purpose was to extend American hegemony; its method dirty tricks (not excluding murder) to undermine popular movements or governments and impose brutal right-wing authoritarian regimes in client states. Greg Barnhisel, The New Republic, "The Making of the “Good CIA”," 3 Sep. 2020 Both spend a lot of their time trying to figure out how to maintain security against Iranian hegemony in the region, so both would gain substantially by deepening their partnership with Israel. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "Trump, Kushner just produced a Mideast peace breakthrough," 2 Sep. 2020 Apparently, Biden deems a call to action for private tech companies at the hypothetical Summit for Democracy enough to counter the consensus challenger to American hegemony. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "The Amorphous Biden Doctrine," 31 Aug. 2020 But Orbán’s particular mode of national mourning comes after two years in which Orbán has made his agenda for a conservative cultural hegemony ever more explicit. Kate Maltby, The New York Review of Books, "Viktor Orbán’s Masterplan to Make Hungary Greater Again," 3 June 2020 His approach underscores the urgency of looking beyond hegemony. Darran Anderson, The Atlantic, "Why Every City Feels the Same Now," 24 Aug. 2020

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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The first known use of hegemony was in 1567

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hegemony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemony. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for hegemony


How to pronounce hegemony (audio) How to pronounce hegemony (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hegemony

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

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