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Borrowed from French népotisme, from Italian nepotismo, from Latin nepōs (“nephew”), a reference to the practice of popes appointing relatives (most often nephews) as cardinals during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
- The favoring of relatives or personal friends because of their relationship rather than because of their abilities.
- Antonyms: meritocracy, merit system
- Coordinate term: cronyism
- Nepotism can get you very far in the world if you've got the right connections.
- 1989, Report on Business Magazine (volume 6, issues 1-6, page 100)
- Now retailers even demand deslotting or failure fees, a penalty for trial products that fail to meet their sales objectives. The struggle over display space heavily favors the incumbents and encourages what might be called brand nepotism.
- 2006 September 27, “China airbrushes Chen”, in Financial Times:
- Mr Chen - a member of the national politburo as well as the Shanghai boss - is accused of nepotism and corruption on a grand scale: protecting political allies, granting preferment to his family and looting Shanghai's pension fund.
favoring of relatives or personal friends
nepotism n (uncountable)