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[kroh-nee-iz-uh m]
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  1. the practice of favoring one's close friends, especially in political appointments.

Origin of cronyism

First recorded in 1830–40; crony + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cronyism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • These two plagues – cronyism and nepotism – haunt public procurement.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • And corruption was both rife and rampant – nepotism, cronyism, outright bribery.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for cronyism


  1. the practice of appointing friends to high-level, esp political, posts regardless of their suitability
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cronyism


1840, "friendship," from crony + -ism. Meaning "appointment of friends to important positions, regardless of ability" is originally American English, from c.1950.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper