Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business.
[French népotisme, from Italian nepotismo, from nepote, nephew, from Latin nepōs, nepōt-; see nepōt- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
nep′o·tistic, nep′o·tisti·cal adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.