When someone hires a friend to do a job, whether or not she's the best candidate, that's cronyism. A governor appointing his inexperienced daughter to an important staff position is one example of cronyism.

  • Pronunciation: /'kronɪɪzəm/
  • English description: favoritism shown to friends and associates (as by appointing them to positions without regard for their qualifications)
  • Synonyms: favoritism
  • Chinese Translation: 任人唯亲(ren4 ren2 wei2 qin1)
  • Spanish Translation: el amiguismo
  • ORIGIN: You're most likely to find the word cronyism in political discussions. It's not necessarily considered cronyism for a public figure to hire, promote, or appoint her friends or colleagues. However, if the person isn't as qualified as other candidates but gets the job anyway, it's a clear case of cronyism. The original meaning ofcronyism was simply "friendship," from crony, Cambridge student slang for "old friend" from the Greek khronios, "long-lasting.".


  • The culture secretary was called before the education and culture committee to give evidence over the £150,000 grant, which drew accusations of "cronyism".
  • In turn, those companies that are embedded get more and more favors, pushing out the smaller companies, and rewarding cronyism instead of innovation.

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