Definition of elite in English:


Line breaks: elite
Pronunciation: /eɪˈliːt
, ɪ-/


  • 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
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    • He feared that by endorsing Sinclair he would alienate the banking and industrial elite, which he was attempting to win to the side of his New Deal policies.
    • Polls show that the British people are inexorably losing faith in their governing elites and institutions.
    • When it comes to vital resources like water and land, free market is the dominant mantra of the world's financial elite.
  • 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.

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