Usage and meanings of hoi polloi
- Family-owned businesses that select their CEOs from all family members fare no worse than companies that select talent from hoi polloi.
- —The Wilson Quarterly
- A third, more readily acceptable innovation, was the new taste for whiskey as a drink, first for the hoi polloi and ultimately for the gentry.
- —Jacques Barzun
- … rented mainly to corporations to allow their VIPs air-conditioned splendor high above the hoi polloi.
- —James B. Twitchell
- … I could fly over to Europe and join the rich hoi polloi, at Monte Carlo.
- —Westwood Pegler
- Most of the hoi polloi and VIPs who move and shake New York went first to a book party for Time's former headman, Henry Grunwald, in the New York Public Library.
- —Liz Smith
Recent Examples of hoi polloi from the Web
When irony spreads to the hoi polloi, no good can come of it.
Concierge-level Travel for Discriminating Clients Tired of flying with the hoi polloi?
Casual means different things to different people, and for those who spend their days trafficking in important antiques and exquisite passementerie, the concept of informality rarely jibes with the barefoot fantasies of the hoi polloi.
Another is that companies that cater to the hoity toity over the hoi polloi would see sales pick up first.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hoi polloi.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In Greek, hoi polloi means simply "the many". (Even though hoi itself means "the", in English we almost always say "the hoi polloi".) It comes originally from the famous Funeral Oration by Pericles, where it was actually used in a positive way. Today it's generally used by people who think of themselves as superior—though it's also sometimes used in Pericles' democratic spirit. By the way, it has no relation to hoity-toity, meaning "stuck-up", which starts with the same sound but has nothing to do with Greek.
Origin and Etymology of hoi polloi
First Known Use: 1837See Words from the same year
HOI POLLOI Defined for English Language Learners
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