Elite



(often used with a plural verb) the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.
(used with a plural verb) persons of the highest class:
Only the elite were there.
a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group:
the power elite of a major political party.
a type, approximately 10-point in printing-type size, widely used in typewriters and having 12 characters to the inch.
Compare 1 .
representing the most choice or select; best:
an elite group of authors.
Contemporary Examples

Sure, elite Republican opinion is changing, but much of the conservative movement remains ferociously opposed to gay rights.
Freedom to Marry for Young Conservatives: The GOP Gay Marriage Push Michelle Goldberg July 11, 2012

And were the elite police sharpshooters stationed on the rooftops overlooking Nahda and Rabaa squares acting in self-defense?
The Criminal Folly of the Egyptian Armed Forces Bernard-Henri Lévy August 19, 2013

But to watch two elite players counterlooping back and forth with gravity-defying spin is remarkable.
Ping-Pong: America’s Most Overlooked Sport? Matt Simon August 11, 2012

Is this a variant of that elite condescension for ordinary folks who are “bitter,” and who “cling to guns and religion”?
Obama’s Turban Anxiety Tunku Varadarajan October 19, 2010

Or was she in fact a maligned victim of elite snobbery (see “pin up girl,” above) by toffee-nosed, Georgetown cocktail-swillers?
Sarah Palin, the Sequel Christopher Buckley November 9, 2008

Historical Examples

Soon they reached the dirty, plastic front of the elite Cafe.
Foundling on Venus John de Courcy

The elite Confectionery will occupy these premises Dec. 10th.
Mixed Faces Roy Norton

His hope now turns exclusively towards the elite, towards the few who have remained free.
Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig

The elite of the army was in the Netherlands; there he could find what he desired.
A Word Only A Word, Complete Georg Ebers

A ball was given in the evening, at which about 300 persons were present—the elite of Melbourne society.
A Boy’s Voyage Round the World The Son of Samuel Smiles

noun
(sometimes functioning as pl) the most powerful, rich, gifted, or educated members of a group, community, etc
Also called twelve pitch. a typewriter typesize having 12 characters to the inch
adjective
of, relating to, or suitable for an elite; exclusive
n.

1823, from French élite “selection, choice,” from Old French eslite (12c.), fem. past participle of elire, elisre “pick out, choose,” from Latin eligere “choose” (see election). Borrowed in Middle English as “chosen person” (late 14c.), especially a bishop-elect; died out mid-15c.; re-introduced by Byron’s “Don Juan.” As an adjective by 1852. As a typeface, first recorded 1920.

1. A term used to describe skilled crackers or hackers, or their deeds. In the last sense, compare to elegant.
The term is also used to describe exclusive forums (ftp sites, BBSs) used for trading pirated software, cracking tools, or phreaking codes.
(1997-01-31)

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