[ih-lee-tist ey-lee‐]


(of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society: elitist country clubbers who have theirs and don't care about anybody else.
catering to or associated with an elitist class, its ideologies, or its institutions: Even at such a small, private college, Latin and Greek are under attack as too elitist.


a person having, thought to have, or professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of society: He lost a congressional race in Texas by being smeared as an Eastern elitist.
a person who believes in the superiority of an elitist class.

Origin of elitist

Related formsan·ti·e·lit·ist, noun, adjectivenon·e·lit·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for elitist

highbrow, stiff, name-dropper

Examples from the Web for elitist

Contemporary Examples of elitist

Historical Examples of elitist

  • The aim was to immediately inherit the wealth and power accumulated by generations of elitist rule.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

Word Origin and History for elitist

1950; see elite + -ist. The original examples were Freud, Nietzsche, and Carlyle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper