nepotism

noun nep·o·tism \ ˈne-pə-ˌti-zəm \

Definition of nepotism

:favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship
  • accused the company of fostering nepotism in promotions

nepotistic

play \ˌne-pə-ˈti-stik\ adjective

nepotism was our Word of the Day on 05/22/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of nepotism in a Sentence

  1. Nepotism has hurt the company.

Recent Examples of nepotism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nepotism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

nepotism Has Papal Origins

During his papacy from 1471-1484, Sixtus IV granted many special favors to members of his family, in particular his nephews. This practice of papal favoritism was carried on by his successors, and in 1667 it was the subject of Gregorio Leti's book Il Nepotismo di Roma-titled in the English translation, The History of the Popes' Nephews. Shortly after the book's appearance, nepotism began to be used in English for the showing of special favor or unfair preference to any relative by someone in any position of power, be it ecclesiastical or not. (The "nep-" spelling is from nepote, a 17th-century variant of Italian nipote, meaning "nephew.")

Origin and Etymology of nepotism

French népotisme, from Italian nepotismo, from nepote nephew, from Latin nepot-, nepos grandson, nephew — more at nephew



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