• synonyms


[ih-lee-tiz-uh m, ey-lee-]
  1. practice of or belief in rule by an elite.
  2. consciousness of or pride in belonging to a select or favored group.
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Origin of elitism

First recorded in 1950–55; elite + -ism
Related formse·lit·ist, noun, adjectivean·ti·e·lit·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for elitism


    1. the belief that society should be governed by a select group of gifted and highly educated individuals
    2. such government
  1. pride in or awareness of being one of an elite group
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Derived Formselitist, adjective, noun
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 elitism


1951; see elite + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper