Printable Version
Pronunciation: hê-je-mê-nee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Control over others, especially control of one country or region over another, domination of another.

Notes: A nation that dominates another is a hegemon [he-j-mn] that hegemonizes [h-je-m-naiz-iz] its sphere of influence. The adjective is hegemonic and the plural is hegemonies. Don't forget to change Y to I and add ES to form the plural

In Play: Today's Good Word is heard mostly in connection with international diplomacy and politics: "Everyone was happy to see the end of Soviet hegemony in Eastern and Central Europe." However, it works in economics equally well, where corporate hegemony, the disproportionate influence of corporations on our lives, has become a popular phrase: "Professor Wazziz Nem blames corporate hegemony for creating America's addiction to oil by promoting automobile travel over rail and river travel."

Word History: Today's Good Word is the English makeover of the Greek word hegemonia "leadership" from the noun hegemon "leader", a noun from the verb hegeisthai "to lead". The Greek root here is heg-; it comes from PIE sag- "to seek" which in fact went on to also become English seek and the sack in ransack. This latter word was taken from Old Norse rannsaka, made up of rann "house" + saka "to search". The same root became sagax (sagac-s) "of keen perception" in Latin, then wended its way down to French as sage "wise" and to Spanish as sagaz "wise". English borrowed both sage and sagacious from Old French.

Dr. Goodword,

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