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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.



nepotism (countable and uncountable, plural nepotisms)

  1. 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[1]:
      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.

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Borrowed from French népotisme.


nepotism n (uncountable)

  1. nepotism

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