Definition of aristocrat
- the aristocrat of Southern resorts
- —Southern Living
could trace his lineage to an English aristocrat of the 17th century
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.
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.
What made you want to look up aristocrat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Find the Cousins