hegemony

noun
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 Their way of seeing the world, though, is faltering, as the kind of cultural hegemony largely rooted in cisgender, white, Christian values is losing power. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "No, Wearing A Dress Doesn’t Make Harry Styles Less “Manly”," 16 Nov. 2020 Perhaps the strongest indication of the hegemony of mainline Protestantism during the early era of the court is how little it was questioned. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Religious identity and Supreme Court justices — a brief history," 20 Oct. 2020 Masculine, white, North American, always ready with a joke or a moniker that reduces the unknown world to familiar cultural markers—these are traits likely to come across as especially grating after close to a century of U.S. hegemony. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "Héctor Tobar’s Radical Road Trip Novel," 25 Aug. 2020 Russia in particular has an interest in prolonging doubt and instability in the U.S., viewing themselves as challengers to U.S. hegemony, according to Miller. NBC News, "As Biden's victory is hailed, some countries still silent a week later," 14 Nov. 2020 His condemnation of Western incursions in underdeveloped countries — including economic and social programs — helped advance the idea that European and American hegemony had a harmful effect on the world. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Jan Myrdal, radical and rebellious Swedish writer, dies at 93," 3 Nov. 2020 In fact, guns may be the best example of how hegemony breeds insularity, as Americans forget how unusual their gun laws are compared with those in other liberal democracies. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Internet Speaks American," 27 Oct. 2020 Perhaps the strongest indication of the hegemony of mainline Protestantism during the early era of the court is how little it was questioned. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Religious identity and Supreme Court justices — a brief history," 20 Oct. 2020 Perhaps the strongest indication of the hegemony of mainline Protestantism during the early era of the court is how little it was questioned. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Religious identity and Supreme Court justices — a brief history," 20 Oct. 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

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hegemony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemony. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for hegemony

hegemony

noun
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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