(noun) The tendency to favor close friends and associates over more qualified applicants for employment, promotions, or in business deals.

Example: The new president of a company hiring three, less than qualified friends to fill top management positions.

Audio Pronunciation: (cro·ny·ism)

Download Audio Pronunciation: cronyism.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • A crony is close friend.
  • Crony capitalism refers to any type of capitalism in which businessmen and politicians have close relationships and is typically considered a type of corruption.
  • Cronyism is informally referred to as the old boys’ network.
  • Cronyism is often compared to nepotism.
  • Cronyism is contrasted to a meritocracy.

Additional Information:

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Works Consulted

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (


How to Cite the Definition of Cronyism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “cronyism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 16, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

cronyism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “cronyism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 16, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“cronyism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 16 Jun. 2019. <>.