Simple Definition of plutocracy
: government by the richest people
: a country that is ruled by the richest people
: a group of very rich people who have a lot of power
Examples of plutocracy in a sentence
If only the wealthy can afford to run for public office, are we more a plutocracy than a democracy?
corporate greed and America's growing plutocracy
Did You Know?
Ploutos was Greek for "wealth", and Plouton, or Pluto, was one of the names used for the Greek god of the underworld, where all the earth's mineral wealth was stored. So a plutocracy governs or wields power through its money. The economic growth in the U.S. in the late 19th century produced a group of enormously wealthy plutocrats. Huge companies like John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil gained serious political power, and Rockefeller was able to influence lawmakers in states where his businesses operated. For this reason, it was said in 1905 that Ohio and New Jersey were plutocracies, not democracies.
Origin and Etymology of plutocracy
Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; akin to Greek plein to sail, float — more at flow
First Known Use: 1652
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