In a word: Hegemony

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


A word your are most likely to encounter in articles about politics, particularly international politics, hegemony (pronounced huh-JEM-oh-nee) refers to one country's or social groups' dominance over others — the kind of word you expect to see in an article by Noam Chomsky or a formal statement of the People's Republic of China. We get it in English from the Greek hegemonia, which in turn comes from hegemon, "leader." Hegemon has been naturalized into English to identify the party that holds sway over the others.

Example: "The basic principle is that hegemony is more important than survival. Hardly novel, the principle has been amply illustrated in the past half-century." From "Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance" by Noam Chomsky. (See?)

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