noun he·ge·mo·ny \ hi-ˈje-mə-nē , -ˈge- ; ˈhe-jə-ˌmō-nē \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

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


play \ˌhe-jə-ˈmä-nik, ˌhe-gə-\ adjective

hegemony was our Word of the Day on 09/18/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of hegemony in a Sentence

  1. … 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 GouldScience14 Jan. 2000
  2. 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. KennedyAtlanticMarch 1999
  3. If mermaids had ceased to challenge scientific hegemony, other similarly mythological creatures rushed in to fill their places in Victorian hearts and minds. —Harriet RitvoThe Platypus and the Mermaid1997
  4. They discussed the national government's hegemony over their tribal community.

  5. European intellectuals have long debated the consequences of the hegemony of American popular culture around the world.

Recent Examples of hegemony from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of hegemony

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

HEGEMONY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of hegemony for English Language Learners

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

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very hard to disturb or upset

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