Cronyism is a word that has been in use since the 1840s, though its meaning changed over the years. We will examine the meaning of the word cronyism, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Cronyism is distributing jobs or power to your friends without regard to their abilities or qualifications. Charges of cronyism usually occur in government and big business. The word cronyism was first used in the 1840s to mean friendship. The New York Times used the word cronyism in a different way in the early 1950s, to mean governmental appointments in the Truman administration which were based on friendship rather than the abilities of the appointees. The word cronyism is derived from the word crony, which was coined by Cambridge University students in the 1660s to mean friend, derived from the Greek word khronios meaning long-lasting. The suffix -ism denotes a system, theory or practice. A rarely used but acceptable alternative spelling of cronyism is croneyism.


Abe has been badly bruised by allegations of cronyism centering on the heavily discounted sale of public land to the operator of an ultra-nationalist kindergarten in Osaka with links to his wife, Akie Abe. (The Guardian)

Ford vowed an end to the waste and cronyism that has allowed the unscrupulous to profit from Liberal initiatives ranging from Ontario Hydro privatization and multi-million dollar executive salaries to eHealth.(The Kenora Daily Miner and News)

Iowa lawmakers will launch an investigation into the Iowa Communications Network amid allegations the now-fired agency head misspent almost $380,000 of taxpayers’ money and fostered a system of cronyism.  (The Des Moines Register)

In Italy Virginia Raggi, of the insurgent populist Five Star Movement, became Mayor of Rome promising a fresh start for an ancient capital, but immediately she ran into the usual boring problems of running a vast city, including rubbish collection, despondent public service workers, crime, croneyism, traffic, and pollution. (The National)


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