aristocracy

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

Definition of aristocracy

plural

aristocracies

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

  2. 2a :  a government in which power is vested (see 2vest 1a) in a minority consisting of those believed to be best qualifiedb :  a state with such a government

  3. 3 :  a governing body or upper class usually made up of a hereditary nobility a member of the British aristocracy

  4. 4 :  a class or group of people believed to be superior (as in rank, wealth, or intellect) an intellectual aristocracy

Examples of aristocracy in a Sentence

  1. a member of the aristocracy

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

Recent Examples of aristocracy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aristocracy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of aristocracy

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


ARISTOCRACY Defined for English Language Learners

aristocracy

play
noun

Definition of aristocracy for English Language Learners

  • : 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


ARISTOCRACY Defined for Kids

aristocracy

play
noun ar·is·toc·ra·cy \ˌer-ə-ˈstä-krə-sē\

Definition of aristocracy for Students

plural

aristocracies

  1. 1 :  a government that is run by a small class of people

  2. 2 :  an upper class that is usually based on birth and is richer and more powerful than the rest of a society

  3. 3 :  people thought of as being better than the rest of the community



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