cro·​ny ˈkrō-nē How to pronounce crony (audio)
plural cronies
: a close friend especially of long standing : pal
played golf with his cronies

Example Sentences

The mayor rewarded his cronies with high-paying jobs after he was elected. the criminal's cronies were also closely questioned about the illegal gambling operation
Recent Examples on the Web So intertwined are the tycoon’s personal wealth and the government’s pro-business agenda, critics wonder: is Mr. Adani a shining Indian success story, or the country’s most high-profile crony? Sarita Santoshini, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Feb. 2023 Burford, an old sagebrusher and Watt crony, was addressing the annual meeting of the Outdoor Writers Association of America in late June. Ted Trueblood, Field & Stream, 29 Nov. 2020 But critics say his rise has rested heavily on crony capitalism. Diksha Madhok, CNN, 31 Jan. 2023 Erdogan has already worked to establish a compliant media, through confiscation, crony capitalism and repression, including the arrest and imprisonment of journalists. Ahmet T. Kuru, The Conversation, 15 Dec. 2022 Monday’s second case (Ciminelli v. U.S.) also involves prosecutorial overreach against a Cuomo crony. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 25 Nov. 2022 Republicans in the Legislature don’t like a proposal tabled by the Public Utility Commission, but the state’s leaders appear committed to crony capitalism. Chris Tomlinson, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Dec. 2022 Luzhkov also presided over rampant corruption: a crony network parallel to the kleptocratic circle that materialized around the Kremlin. Chris Pomorski, Curbed, 17 Oct. 2022 Yet it is viewed by many people here as a crony capitalist state run by corrupt elites who have monopolized power and the national economy, fostering government incompetence and popular distrust of the state. Jeremy Hsu, Discover Magazine, 30 June 2015 See More

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

Word History


perhaps from Greek chronios long-lasting, from chronos time

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crony was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near crony

Cite this Entry

“Crony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


cro·​ny ˈkrō-nē How to pronounce crony (audio)
plural cronies
: a close companion : pal
politicians who get jobs for their cronies

More from Merriam-Webster on crony

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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