[ ih-lee-tist ey-lee‐ ]
/ ɪˈli tɪst eɪˈli‐ /


(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.

Nearby words

  1. elision,
  2. elisor,
  3. elissa,
  4. elite,
  5. elitism,
  6. elix.,
  7. elixir,
  8. eliz.,
  9. eliza,
  10. elizabeth

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

Examples from the Web for elitist

Word Origin and History for elitist



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper