noun, plural cro·nies.
THIS PSAT VOCABULARY QUIZ IS PERFECT PRACTICE FOR THE REAL TEST
Origin of crony
Words nearby crony
What does crony mean?
A crony is a close friend or associate, especially one among several.
Crony can be used in a neutral way meaning much the same thing as buddy or pal, as in I still get together with my college cronies.
But the word is most often used in a negative way to refer to a lackey or an accomplice in some kind of shady or illegal activity.
It’s especially used in a political context to refer to friends or associates of people in power who are appointed to positions or otherwise shown favor due to their relationship with that person, rather than for their qualifications, as in He ran for office to enrich himself and his cronies. When used this way, it implies a criticism of such people.
The term cronyism refers to the practice of appointing and otherwise favoring people in this way.
Example: Several of the company’s executives were known to be cronies of the CEO, making them unpopular with many employees.
Where does crony come from?
The first records of the word crony come from around 1660. It’s origin isn’t known for sure, but it’s thought to come from university slang—its early recorded uses refer to school buddies. One possible origin could be the Greek chrónios, which means “for a long time” and is derived from the Greek chrónos, “time.” This makes sense since a crony is often a person you’ve known for a long time.
When a politician or public official appoints their longtime associates to positions, these people are often referred to as their cronies, especially in accusations of cronyism. (The practice of appointing family members to positions is called nepotism.)
Even when cronies is used outside of politics, it’s still often negative. In pop culture, the word is often used to refer to criminal associates (even if they’re not considered close associates or buddies). For example, the disposable henchmen sent on evil errands by fictional supervillains are occasionally referred to as their cronies.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to crony?
- cronies (plural)
What are some synonyms for crony?
What are some words that share a root or word element with crony?
What are some words that often get used in discussing crony?
How is crony used in real life?
The word crony is especially used in a critical way in the context of politics. There is rarely only one crony—the word is usually used in the plural.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Wayne LaPierre and his cronies at the NRA, who have long put their own self-interests ahead of public safety in order to line their pockets and enrich themselves. https://t.co/DVUqJju5N2
— Moms Demand Action (@MomsDemand) August 6, 2020
Erdogan loves Turkey's justice system when it works for his favor, he turns against it when it starts going after his cronies. #Turkey
— The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) December 27, 2013
The 70% car tariffs thingy is nothing but an attempt to get a few cronies rich at the expense of the majority. Absurd economics
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) December 28, 2013
Try using crony!
Which of the following kinds of people is the word crony most likely to refer to?
A. family member
Example sentences from the Web for crony
Cohen and his cronies always make sure that it’s socially acceptable to laugh at his American targets.You should side with Borat’s victims, not mock them|Sonny Bunch|October 30, 2020|Washington Post
Perhaps more interesting than the straight-up fraud perpetrated by King and his cronies is the history of the entire country of Liberia.The story behind the most fraudulent election in history|PopSci Staff|October 28, 2020|Popular Science
Democrats need to respond aggressively to the crony capitalism practiced by many Republicans, particularly regarding Wall Street.
Barack Obama has shown America that crony corporatism, patronage politics, and limitless government know no party.
Call it the new class, the crony class, the ruling class, or the lobbyist-industrial complex.
Unions exist because, without them, the path is opened wide to crony collaboration between big government and big business.The Conservative Case for Unions After the Harris v. Quinn Decision|James Poulos|July 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In 2012, he voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, one of the purest excresences of crony capitalism imaginable.After Cochran’s Win: Red-State Socialism Must Be Stopped!|Nick Gillespie|June 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
At that moment his crony Nalaczi was with him, standing at the window, while Teleki sat in an arm-chair.The Slaves of the Padishah|Mr Jkai
They took an observation now and then of the forward car, and saw that Sam and his crony were still aboard.Tom Fairfield in Camp|Allen Chapman
To this the bully did not dare make answer, and he and his crony rowed off.The Putnam Hall Encampment|Arthur M. Winfield
Here I am, returned Gamain, with the familiarity of a crony.The Hero of the People|Alexandre Dumas
But I take it that it is more likely to be some crony of the landladys.Adventures of Sherlock Holmes|A. Conan Doyle