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aristocracy

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noun ar·is·toc·ra·cy \ˌa-rə-ˈstä-krə-sē, ˌer-ə-\

Simple Definition of aristocracy

  • : the highest social class in some countries : the people who have special titles (such as duke and duchess ), who typically own land, and who traditionally have more money and power than the other people in a society

Full Definition of aristocracy

plural ar·is·toc·ra·cies

  1. 1 :  government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class

  2. 2 a :  a government in which power is vested in a minority consisting of those believed to be best qualified b :  a state with such a government

  3. 3 :  a governing body or upper class usually made up of a hereditary nobility

  4. 4 :  the aggregate of those believed to be superior

Examples of aristocracy

  1. a member of the aristocracy

  2. <at one time in China only the aristocracy could own land>



Origin of aristocracy

Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French aristocratie, from Late Latin aristocratia, from Greek aristokratia, from aristos best + -kratia -cracy


First Known Use: 1561



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