Definition of crony in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkrōnē/

noun (plural cronies)

informal, often derogatory
A close friend or companion: he went gambling with his cronies
More example sentences
  • Black and his cronies had sold themselves company assets at knockdown prices.
  • Critics dismissed him as a political crony with little emergency-services experience.
  • All that's needed is the support of a few like-minded political cronies and hey presto!
friend, companion, bosom friend, intimate, confidant, confidante, familiar, associate, accomplice, comrade
informal pal, chum, sidekick, partner in crime, buddy, amigo, compadre, mate, dawg
archaic compeer
(cronies) informalpeeps


Mid 17th century (originally Cambridge University slang): from Greek khronios 'long-lasting' (here used to mean 'contemporary'), from khronos 'time'. Compare with chum1.

  • This derives from Greek khronios ‘long-lasting’, which was based on khronos ‘time’. In the 17th century crony was Cambridge University slang for ‘an old friend’ or ‘a contemporary’. Chum is the Oxford University equivalent. The first record of crony is from the diary of Samuel Pepys (1633–1703), a former Cambridge man, for 30 May 1665: ‘Jack Cole, my old school-fellow…who was a great chrony of mine.’ His spelling showed the word's direct relationship with the original Greek. The political sense of cronyism, ‘the appointment of your friends and associates to positions of authority’, originated in the US during the 19th century. See also chronic

Words that rhyme with crony

abalone, Albinoni, Annigoni, Antonioni, baloney, Bodoni, boloney, bony, calzone, cannelloni, canzone, cicerone, coney, conversazione, coronae, Gaborone, Giorgione, macaroni, Manzoni, Marconi, mascarpone, minestrone, Moroni, Mulroney, padrone, panettoni, pepperoni, phoney, polony, pony, rigatoni, Shoshone, Sloaney, stony, Toni, tony, zabaglione

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cro·ny

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