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 Southeast Portland food cart Jojo technically opened in 2018, but their sandwich is the first real challenger to Basilisk’s local hegemony. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "One of Portland’s best ramen shops heads for the ‘burbs, plus all the other big restaurant news for January 2020," 8 Jan. 2020 The Geopolitical Importance of Ukraine Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Time Staff, Time, "A White House National Security Expert Heard Trump's Ukraine Call and Reported Concerns. Read His Planned Testimony," 29 Oct. 2019 The real subject of The Matrix is hegemony: the rule of authority that hides ideology from people accustomed to simply accepting and following social conventions. Armond White, National Review, "Is The Matrix the Conservative’s Star Wars?," 30 Aug. 2019 The protests were met with heavy police repression and followed by an election with many signs of fraud that continued Putin’s hegemony. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Yandex, Russia’s biggest search engine, is an on-ramp for child sexual imagery, experts say," 17 Jan. 2020 Such trickery has over centuries created and reinforced racial, linguistic, and gender stereotypes and hegemony in India. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 Does this mean China is replacing America as a global hegemony? Parag Khanna, Quartz, "Everyone has moved past the US-China trade war—except the US and China," 16 Dec. 2019 More ominously, China’s mercantilism is part of a larger Xi Jinping strategy to establish a new military and commercial hegemony in Asia. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Missing China Trade Strategy," 18 Sep. 2018 Are there any teams in the Big Ten that can catch Ohio State in recruiting and give themselves a better chance at breaking the Big Ten's current hegemony? Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Can Michigan football, or anyone in the Big Ten, close recruiting gap with Ohio State?," 22 Dec. 2019

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hegemony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemony?show=0&t=1397107658. Accessed 21 Feb. 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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