aris·​to·​crat | \ ə-ˈri-stə-ˌkrat How to pronounce aristocrat (audio) , a-; ˈa-rə-stə- \

Definition of aristocrat

1 : a member of an aristocracy especially : noble an aristocrat by birth
2a : one who has the bearing and viewpoint typical of the aristocracy
b : one who favors aristocracy
3 : one believed to be superior of its kind the aristocrat of Southern resortsSouthern Living

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Did You Know?

Since aristos means "best" in Greek, ancient Greeks such as Plato and Aristotle used the word aristocracy to mean a system of rule by the best people—that is, those who deserved to rule because of their intelligence and moral excellence. But this kind of "best" soon became something you could inherit from your parents. The United States has no formal aristocracy—no noble titles such as baron or marquis that stay in the family—but certain American families have achieved an almost aristocratic status because of the wealth they've held onto for generations.

Examples of aristocrat in a Sentence

could trace his lineage to an English aristocrat of the 17th century
Recent Examples on the Web Manette denounces the brutal aristocrat Marquis de St Evermonde. Jaithirth Rao, Quartz India, "Can Hindu conservatives make room for reform in religion?," 4 Nov. 2019 Wiley is known for his regal portraits of minorities, which reclaim a privilege long reserved for white aristocrats. NBC News, "Wiley believes monuments to Confederate figures should be placed in social context, not torn down.," 7 Oct. 2019 Set in 1927, the story concerns King George V and Queen Mary coming to spend one night in the sprawling British country house of the show’s title, setting off a storm of activity with the aristocrats upstairs and their servants down below. Mark Olsenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Exploring new edges in ‘Ad Astra’," 20 Sep. 2019 So the emcee and manager, Harold Zidler (Danny Burstein), sells the club, and Satine’s body, to the aristocrat. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Hottest New Show on Broadway Is . . .," 30 Aug. 2019 For much of the new season the axis of conflict runs between Voiello and John Paul III (John Malkovich), a weary, vacillating British aristocrat and aesthete who’s a compromise choice as Pius’s successor. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: ‘The New Pope’ on HBO: Faith, Hope and Sponge Baths," 12 Jan. 2020 The first involving a missing aristocrat and the second, a deceased John Doe in a bathtub that has everyone wondering whose dead body this is. Jerald Pierce,, "More than one mystery is afoot in Lifeline Theatre’s ‘Whose Body?’," 18 Sep. 2019 An English aristocrat and a cattleman drive a herd across the Australian Outback to save her ranch from a hostile takeover. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 As the story opens, Pope Pius XIII (Law) lies in a coma and Secretary of State Voiello (Silvio Orlando) succeeds in having Sir John Brannox (Malkovich), a moderate British aristocrat, installed on the papal throne. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘The New Pope’ on HBO," 12 Jan. 2020

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

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First Known Use of aristocrat

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aristocrat

see aristocracy

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Time Traveler for aristocrat

Time Traveler

The first known use of aristocrat was in 1787

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Statistics for aristocrat

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aristocrat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for aristocrat


How to pronounce aristocrat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aristocrat

: a member of an aristocracy


aris·​to·​crat | \ ə-ˈri-stə-ˌkrat How to pronounce aristocrat (audio) , ˈer-ə-stə- \

Kids Definition of aristocrat

: a member of an aristocracy

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