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 The English monarch in the drama is the very real King George III, who married Queen Charlotte in 1761, a German aristocrat whose racially ambiguous features have long divided historians over possible African roots. CBS News, "How "Bridgerton" hints at the "complete story" of Black Britain," 23 Feb. 2021 The story is of a prosperous middle-class tailor’s son who tries to acquire the manners of an aristocrat, from courtly dancing and fencing to grand banqueting. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "A day late, elegant Mozart and Strauss from Fabio Luisi and the Dallas Symphony," 20 Feb. 2021 In the second half of the novel, a tragic occurrence clears the way for Undine to marry Raymond de Chelles, a handsome nobleman from one of France’s oldest families, allowing Undine to become an aristocrat, if only by title: the Marquise de Chelles. New York Times, "Undine Spragg’s Life in Objects," 26 Jan. 2021 Caroline Clayton of Indianapolis, Ind.: In the 1920s, a Russian aristocrat is sentenced to life imprisonment in a luxury hotel. Globe Staff,, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 The Iranian environmental movement largely owes its existence to one man: Eskandar Firouz, a charismatic aristocrat and big game hunter. Frans Lanting, National Geographic, "How Iran is destroying its once thriving environmental movement," 12 Nov. 2020 Fairbanks introduced moviegoers to a Spanish aristocrat in 1820s California — a blue blood who believes in blue-state values: fair play for the poor and protection of the innocent. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021 Stella Tennant, the British aristocrat turned supermodel, has died at the age of 50. NBC News, "Christmas comes early for Trump allies with more pardons," 24 Dec. 2020 The family believes that in the ’40s it was bought by an Italian-Russian aristocrat named Anita Stross. New York Times, "In the Tuscan Countryside, a 15th-Century Monastery Turned Beloved Family Home," 1 Dec. 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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aristocrat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for aristocrat



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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