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elite Line breaks: elite
Pronunciation: /eɪˈliːt/

Definition of elite in English:


1A select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society: the elite of Britain’s armed forces [as modifier]: an elite athlete an elite commando unit elite colleges and universities
More example sentences
  • In fact, Murray comments that societal elites were less likely to be religious.
  • It is a model strictly for people who are into hierarchical societies with bossy elites who like to display their power.
  • Town life also presented new challenges of economic and social organization to urban elites.
best, pick, cream, flower, nonpareil, elect;
aristocracy, nobility, gentry, upper class, privileged class, first class, establishment;
high society, jet set, beautiful people;
Indian  bhadralok;
French beau monde, haut monde, crème de la crème, A-list
North American informal four hundred
1.1A group or class of people seen as having the most power and influence in a society, especially on account of their wealth or privilege: the country’s governing elite the silent majority were looked down upon by the liberal elite
More example sentences
  • In recent decades, successive governments have carried out policies aimed at benefiting a tiny privileged elite at the expense of the broad mass of working people.
  • Unless you're a CEO or a millionaire I don't see how you can defend a party whose policy benefits benefits the elite over the general populace.
  • Over the past decade, the Western political elite has experienced a profound disorientation.
2 [mass noun] A size of letter in typewriting, with 12 characters to the inch (about 4.7 to the centimetre).


Late 18th century: from French élite 'selection, choice', from élire 'to elect', from a variant of Latin eligere (see elect). sense 2 dates from the early 20th century.

  • elegant from Late Middle English:

    These days, someone elegant will generally be well dressed, but the basic idea behind the word is of being discerning and making careful choices. It comes from Old French élégant or Latin elegans, from eligere ‘to choose or select’, which was the origin of elect (Late Middle English), eligible (Late Middle English), and elite (late 18th century).

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