noun he·ge·mo·ny \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, -ˈge-; ˈhe-jə-ˌmō-nē\

Definition of hegemony

  1. 1 :  preponderant influence or authority over others :  domination battled for hegemony in Asia

  2. 2 :  the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group


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

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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 Gould, Science, 14 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. Kennedy, Atlantic, March 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 Ritvo, The Platypus and the Mermaid, 1997

  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.

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

First Known Use: 1567

HEGEMONY Defined for English Language Learners


noun he·ge·mo·ny \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, -ˈge-; ˈhe-jə-ˌmō-nē\

Definition of hegemony for English Language Learners

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

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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