Definition of crony in US English:


nounPlural cronies

informal, derogatory
  • A close friend or companion.

    ‘he went gambling with his cronies’
    • ‘All that's needed is the support of a few like-minded political cronies and hey presto!’
    • ‘He wakes up late on Sunday morning and meets for brunch with a few of his cronies.’
    • ‘They smash up whole countries, then give their cronies contracts to rebuild them.’
    • ‘Worse, he would lose all control of the network of corrupt businesses he has created to support his family and his cronies.’
    • ‘They can do it at the voting booth every 4 years, but it's the same old cronies that run for office.’
    • ‘It is this sheep-like loyalty that has turned many a hard-nosed businessman into a servile crony.’
    • ‘Will you stop the practice of appointing ex cronies to plum overseas postings?’
    • ‘Labour and their cronies of do-gooders now believe that first and second time burglars should not be sent to jail.’
    • ‘The Thai prime minister and his political cronies are multi-millionaires.’
    • ‘As is now apparent, he and his cronies seemed to have lied spectacularly about it all.’
    • ‘With the stockmarkets slumping, New Labour's business cronies are not so keen to stump up donations.’
    • ‘But as an ex-Clinton crony he would say that, wouldn't he?’
    • ‘Former party leaders and their cronies have been questioned for corruption allegations.’
    • ‘Some of these oligarchs developed especially close relations with Yeltsin and his cronies.’
    • ‘Black and his cronies had sold themselves company assets at knockdown prices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Critics dismissed him as a political crony with little emergency-services experience.’
    • ‘What, they might not be able to get one of their crony buddies a job in the future?’
    • ‘I would not describe him as a political crony.’
    • ‘Being a crony of the president has never been grounds for disqualification.’
    friend, best friend, companion, boon companion, intimate, familiar, confidant, confidante, alter ego, second self
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Mid 17th century (originally Cambridge university slang): from Greek khronios ‘long-lasting’ (here used to mean ‘contemporary’), from khronos ‘time’. Compare with chum.