noun, plural cronies.
a close friend or companion; chum.

1655–65; alleged to be university slang; perhaps < Greek chrónios for a long time, long-continued, derivative of chrónos time; cf. chrono-

pal, buddy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crony (ˈkrəʊnɪ)
n , pl -nies
a friend or companion
[C17: student slang (Cambridge), from Greek khronios of long duration, from khronos time]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1660s, Cambridge student slang, probably from Gk. khronios "long-lasting," from khronos "time," and with a sense of "old friend," or "contemporary."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
There is no doubt that emerging markets suffer from crony capitalism.
The only clear winners are the crony capitalists, the rent-seekers, who run
  their businesses on special government favour.
Now, in the midst of depression, these countries are being widely condemned for
  crony capitalism.
He was a crony among cronies, whose relations have large business interests and
  fill several important government posts.
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