elite means

a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society.

What is a word for a member of elite?

  • @choster upon your request
    – Tim
    Jan 13, 2021 at 0:34
  • A number of members of elite on Stackoverflow, This is wrong. "Elite" in this context, is countable. All singular countable nouns must be qualified by a determineer -- It should be A number of members of the elite on Stackoverflow... Once you have done this, you do not need an alternative.
    – Greybeard
    Jan 13, 2021 at 1:16
  • The 'way you say it' is "one of the elites".
    – Mitch
    Jan 13, 2021 at 18:13

4 Answers 4


Why not just elite? As in "By virtue of his education he was an elite." Or "Due to his wealth he was among the elite".

  • Is "an elite" grammatical?
    – Tim
    Jan 13, 2021 at 13:48
  • @Tim Yes.
    – choster
    Jan 13, 2021 at 18:19

There are approximations, most of them humorous. Depending on the context, you could use:

upper cruster



(especially in New England): a person usually from an old, respected family who, because of wealth and social position, wields considerable social, economic, and political power, blah-blah-blah.




(ancient Roman aristocracy)

  • This is only one kind of elite, however, and narrower than elite tends to be used in the American context, where new money has long overshadowed old money, and where I would say current anxiety revolves around the interests and membership of the technocratic and (theoretically) meritocratic upper middle class rather than the remnants of the WASP "aristocracy"
    – choster
    Jan 13, 2021 at 19:05
  • @choster: I honestly don't know who has overshadowed whom. I do believe that a lot of the info we base our judgments on in that regard is "smoke and mirrors."
    – Ricky
    Jan 13, 2021 at 20:13
  • That is kind of my point. Jeff Bezos is not a Brahmin, not a blueblood, and not a patrician, and arguably upper crust only in terms of wealth or income. Almost everyone would count him among the elite, however. Very few people pay attention any more to the society pages or the social register; polite American society is firmly bourgeois in its tastes and values.
    – choster
    Jan 14, 2021 at 1:25
  • @choster: "Almost everyone would count him among the elite." ALMOST doesn't count. "polite American society is firmly bourgeois in its tastes and values." I wouldn't say firmly. Somewhat, perhaps. All those techie hotshots come off to a keen observer as figureheads. They just don't "get it." Not only are they denied membership in traditional elite clubs, they don't even seem to desire it - they're THAT boring and unimaginative. Their biggest AESTHETIC problem, I think, is that they don't dread ostentation - as befits a proper elite - they welcome it and embrace it instead.
    – Ricky
    Jan 14, 2021 at 3:18

In the example given, the elite have a special knowledge, understanding, or insight. As such the word cognoscenti might apply:

a group of people who have a great knowledge and understanding of a particular subject, especially one of the arts

(Source: Cambridge dictionary)

So in the example sentence, one might say:

A number of (the) cognoscenti on Stackoverflow have been harassing, closing, and deleting my posts.

The pronunciation of the word is: /ˌkɒn.jəˈʃen.tiː/ (US) and /ˌkɑː.njəˈʃen.tiː/ (UK) but the speaker button pronounces the UK with a hard G.


If "A number of elites on stackoverflow" sounds ambiguous to you, you could simply say:

A number of elite members on stackoverflow,

but the following is also possible:

A number of stackoverflow elite members,

Look at this sentence from the teamsport.co.uk site:

As Elite Members your details will be shared with MotorSport UK in order for them to fulfil the dispatch of your K-I Licence.

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