A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ih-leet, ey-leet] /ɪˈlit, eɪˈlit/
(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 pica1 .
representing the most choice or select; best:
an elite group of authors.
Also, élite.
1350-1400; Middle English elit a person elected to office < Middle French e(s)lit past participle of e(s)lire to choose; see elect
Related forms
antielite, noun, adjective
nonelite, noun
superelite, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for elites
  • Burger has suggested it was built for elites wanting to escape the noise and congestion of the city.
  • There are shortages of medicines, and the best care is reserved for elites.
  • Yet where there's a will, the political elites will eventually find a way.
  • Even the knowledge systems of society are designed to support the old industrial elites and structures.
  • elites' exploiting their scientific knowledge for power is also not new.
  • They are much more valuable to the nation than elites.
  • It is that they work all too well as agents for the reproduction of elites.
  • The derision of elites is a calling card, even if it's the elites in one's own party.
  • It is rather an effort to bring our governing elites to their senses.
  • Two million people, but the elites are small in number and they all no each other.
British Dictionary definitions for elites


/ɪˈliːt; eɪ-/
(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
of, relating to, or suitable for an elite; exclusive
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old French eslit chosen, from eslire to choose, from Latin ēligere to elect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elites



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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