Definition of old-boy network in US English:

old-boy network

(also old boy network)


  • An informal system of support and friendship through which men use their positions of influence to help others who went to the same school or college as they did or who share a similar social background.

    • ‘Some say Flierl wants to reinstall the East's old boy network in the Berlin cultural scene.’
    • ‘He also laments the creation of a whistleblowing culture and the passing of ‘peer support’ of colleagues - otherwise known as the old boy network which for many years has kept secret abuse by doctors.’
    • ‘And all the time I thought you'd come here to make sure I wasn't going to embarrass the old boy network.’
    • ‘Many of the councillors had been co-opted and this led people to believe that it become an old boys' network and was not truly representative of the community.’
    • ‘He's so ensconced in the old boy network that he doesn't know if there is any way out.’
    • ‘In reality, he got where he got not because of some old boy network but because he was number one in his class and did outstanding work in every job he held thereafter.’
    • ‘‘They implied that my guys got promoted as a result of a good old boy network,’ said the attorney who represents the officers.’
    • ‘That's upsetting some traditions, some old boy networks over there.’
    • ‘The good old boy network will start passing the word.’
    • ‘We've always known that the good old boy network existed, that ‘connected’ guys got better assignments.’
    • ‘She said: We're very different from some of the other schools, without the old boys' network.’
    • ‘‘There's no such thing as the old boy network any more,’ he told me, with more than a hint of regret.’
    • ‘The selection process has been reformed following criticisms that it was too secretive and liable to be influenced by an ‘old boy's network’.’
    • ‘These guys are in trouble thanks to a medium they don't understand because it doesn't meet at the Groucho or follow the old boy network.’
    • ‘Have I mentioned that this is how the old boy network is formed?’
    • ‘This is a politics of one-party dominance, old boy networks and cronyism.’
    • ‘Most entrepreneurs and managers were male, a situation reinforced by informal and formal old boy networks.’
    • ‘No one who relays them believes that the police will be brought to account for their actions in those cases by an authority that is perceived to be a part of the old boy network.’
    • ‘I was pondering however, this good old boy network, as I come face to face with it from time to time.’
    • ‘This is the modern equivalent of the old boys' network.’
    system, complex, interconnected structure, interconnected system, complex arrangement, complex system, nexus, web
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