Definition of crony in English:



informal, derogatory
  • A close friend or companion.

    ‘he went gambling with his cronies’
    • ‘I would not describe him as a political crony.’
    • ‘But as an ex-Clinton crony he would say that, wouldn't he?’
    • ‘They can do it at the voting booth every 4 years, but it's the same old cronies that run for office.’
    • ‘Critics dismissed him as a political crony with little emergency-services experience.’
    • ‘Black and his cronies had sold themselves company assets at knockdown prices.’
    • ‘With the stockmarkets slumping, New Labour's business cronies are not so keen to stump up donations.’
    • ‘Will you stop the practice of appointing ex cronies to plum overseas postings?’
    • ‘They smash up whole countries, then give their cronies contracts to rebuild them.’
    • ‘It is this sheep-like loyalty that has turned many a hard-nosed businessman into a servile crony.’
    • ‘As is now apparent, he and his cronies seemed to have lied spectacularly about it all.’
    • ‘What, they might not be able to get one of their crony buddies a job in the future?’
    • ‘Former party leaders and their cronies have been questioned for corruption allegations.’
    • ‘He wakes up late on Sunday morning and meets for brunch with a few of his cronies.’
    • ‘Labour and their cronies of do-gooders now believe that first and second time burglars should not be sent to jail.’
    • ‘Some of these oligarchs developed especially close relations with Yeltsin and his cronies.’
    • ‘The Thai prime minister and his political cronies are multi-millionaires.’
    • ‘Worse, he would lose all control of the network of corrupt businesses he has created to support his family and his cronies.’
    • ‘All that's needed is the support of a few like-minded political cronies and hey presto!’
    • ‘Being a crony of the president has never been grounds for disqualification.’
    • ‘When I'm out with my grandfather and his cronies, they all seem to leer at me and behave like horny stags in rutting season.’


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