Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Favoritism shown to nephews and other relatives; patronage bestowed in consideration of family relationship and not of merit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Undue attachment to relations; favoritism shown to members of one's family; bestowal of patronage in consideration of relationship, rather than of merit or of legal claim.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The favoring of relatives or personal friends because of their relationship rather than because of their abilities.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French népotisme, from Italian nepotismo, from nepote, nephew, from Latin nepōs, nepōt-; see nepōt- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

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Examples

  • The word nepotism is from the Latin word 'nepos', meaning "nephew" or "grandchild". shows up again. while: Biotrophic parasitism is an extremely common mode of life that has arisen independently many times in the course of evolution.

    ESMD Lunar Surface Systems Workshop - NASA Watch

  • The term nepotism, although first showing up in the English language around 1669, took its meaning from the term cardinal-nephews which was the Popes practice of creating Cardinals from their family, usually nephews, as they were not supposed to have children of their own.

    BellaOnline - The Voice of Women

  • Sullivan produced a long list of people who had gotten jobs in Washington through such connections, and concluded, "All this nepotism is a worrisome sign that America's political class is becoming increasingly insular."

    In Praise of Nepotism

  • Sullivan produced a long list of people who had gotten jobs in Washington through such connections, and concluded, "All this nepotism is a worrisome sign that America's political class is becoming increasingly insular."

    In Praise of Nepotism

  • The term "nepotism" comes from the Italian nepote -- 'nephew.'

    Chalabi Becomes Interim Oil Minister of Iraq:

  • The modern definition of "nepotism" is simply favoritism based on kinship, but most people today use the term very narrowly, to mean hiring not just a relative but one who is grossly incompetent.

    In Praise of Nepotism

  • The modern definition of "nepotism" is simply favoritism based on kinship, but most people today use the term very narrowly, to mean hiring not just a relative but one who is grossly incompetent.

    In Praise of Nepotism

  • The term "nepotism" comes from the Italian nepote -- 'nephew.'

    Archive 2005-04-24

  • But in fact, the word "nepotism" comes from the Italian of the 16th or 15th century, "nepotismo (ph)," or "nipotismo (ph)."

    In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural History

  • Reality Check: Ethnic nepotism is literally another word for racism.

    Matthew Yglesias » Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault

Comments

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  • The primary means of political promotion in Chicago.

    December 14, 2006

  • All Hail Lord Daley.

    December 14, 2006

  • Actually I was referring to the Stroger clan, but now that Daley's running for mayor again, I guess we all have to go through the motions, right?

    December 14, 2006

  • From the Italian for "nephew," nepoti.

    September 16, 2008

  • nipote, rather.

    September 16, 2008

  • Ultimately from Latin nepotem "grandson, descendant" (nom. nepos), later also "nephew, niece", giving Italian nipote "nephew, niece". In Italian the practice was originally styled nipotismo as well as the current nepotismo.

    September 16, 2008

  • My mum told me what this word meant in the car today.

    We were playing a number plate game where you have to make a true statement out of the three grouped letters. It was a good drive.

    May 26, 2009