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 That hegemony is in peril thanks to comments made by Robert Unanue, the CEO and grandson of the company’s founder, at a Rose Garden event yesterday. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "The price for publicly supporting President Trump is much more expensive than a can of Goya beans," 11 July 2020 However, what Letscher has achieved here arguably illustrates that the analog world still has much to teach proponents of digital hegemony. John Zotos, Dallas News, "Lance Letscher’s collages compel us to ponder our place within the natural world," 9 July 2020 The liberal Zionist opposition to the hegemony of Netanyahu’s Likud party has been dwindling in large part because the two-state solution, which was the once-dominant Israeli left’s defining political agenda, has lost credibility. Omri Boehm, The New York Review of Books, "After Liberal Zionism, the One Hope for a Democratic Israel," 9 June 2020 Some have struggled to understand why, blithely suggesting that these protests are due to the United States’ cultural hegemony. Time, "Why the Protests in the U.S. Are an Awakening for Non-Black People Around the World," 5 June 2020 This grown-up response to rock ’n’ roll hegemony counters the childish griping by performers such as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen (and Jagger when pressed), who balk at their songs being utilized by conservative politicians. Armond White, National Review, "The Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ — Redefined," 22 Apr. 2020 The bland hegemony of Viacoms and NBCs are exactly what social media and streaming video allowed consumers to escape in the 21st century. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "All the Worst Parts of TV, Condensed!," 11 Apr. 2020 America’s 20th-century hegemony stems from the soft-power appeal of its ideas. Michael J. Casey, Fortune, "Why the U.S. shouldn’t let China dominate the digital currency race," 7 Apr. 2020 Expansion was to continue but was henceforth to emphasize hegemony rather than formal empire. Andrew J. Bacevich, Harper's magazine, "The Old Normal," 2 Mar. 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

22 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hegemony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemony. Accessed 8 Aug. 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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