Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 28, 2019 is:
hegemony • hih-JEM-uh-nee • noun
2 : the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group
“According to Chinese analysts’ telling of World War II, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the invasion of China proper in 1937 were part of the U.S. strategy to pit the two Asian nations against each other in an endless war that would prevent either from rising to threaten American hegemony in the western Pacific.” — Michael Pillsbury, The Hundred-Year Marathon, 2015
“The sweeping restrictions come as New York and other cities fundamentally rethink the role of cars in the face of unrelenting traffic that is choking their streets, poisoning the environment and crippling public transit systems by trapping buses and light rail systems in gridlock. It is becoming a moment of reckoning—and, cars, which once had absolute hegemony over the streets, are losing.” – Winnie Hu, The New York Times, 8 Aug. 2019
Did you know?
Hegemony comes to English from the Greek hēgemonia, a noun formed from the verb hēgeisthai (“to lead”), which also gave us the word exegesis (meaning “exposition” or “explanation”). Hegemony was first used in English in the mid-16th century in reference to the control once wielded by the ancient Greek states, and it was reapplied in later centuries as other nations subsequently rose to power. By the 19th century, it had acquired a second sense referring to the social or cultural influence wielded by a dominant member over others of its kind, such as the domination within an industry by a business conglomerate over smaller businesses.