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patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics:
She was accused of nepotism when she made her nephew an officer of the firm.
Contemporary Examples

Yet those in the Weiss camp say such a decision would be tinged with nepotism.
Sony’s Family Saga Peter Lauria May 11, 2010

Guilty of bullying and nepotism if not petty corruption, Palin was never a model public servant.
The Year in Palin The Daily Beast August 27, 2009

This is not the first time Sirleaf has been charged with nepotism.
Liberia: More Political Woes for Nobel Peace Prize-Winner Sirleaf Clair MacDougall June 30, 2012

At the same time, established parties are turning to nepotism.
5 Things We Get Wrong About India Patrick French June 6, 2011

Over the next few years I continued to wage a self-righteous war against this act of nepotism.
Mea Culpa, Kiddo Marty Beckerman August 13, 2009

Historical Examples

It’s the most complete system of nepotism since the aforementioned Florentine days.
Diplomatic Days Edith O’Shaughnessy

American nepotism puts to shame the one practised in Europe.
Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 Adam Gurowski

Though probably not personally avaricious, he was justly accused of nepotism.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 2 Various

So the charge of nepotism against the chief magistrate was weak.
Alonzo Fitz and Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Innocent was a strong and earnest man of monastic temperament, but not altogether free from nepotism.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 5 Various

favouritism shown to relatives or close friends by those with power or influence

“favoritism shown to relatives, especially in appointment to high office,” 1660s, from French népotisme (1650s), from Italian nepotismo, from nepote “nephew,” from Latin nepotem (nominative nepos) “grandson, nephew” (see nephew). Originally, practice of granting privileges to a pope’s “nephew” which was a euphemism for his natural son.
nepotism [(nep-uh-tiz-uhm)]

Favoritism granted to relatives or close friends, without regard to their merit. Nepotism usually takes the form of employing relatives or appointing them to high office.


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