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

Insane aristocrat Roderick Usher, thinking his sister is dead, buries her alive. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Rich aristocrats could breed horses and hunting dogs, but for the squires and their circle, dog breeding was a better fit in every respect. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Dog Days of Summer? Visit the New Museum of the Dog," 24 Aug. 2019 All 57 companies on this aristocrats list have boosted their dividends annually for at least 25 years. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "How to adjust your borrowing, saving and investing as interest rates continue their decline," 30 July 2019 Only male aristocrats had the leisure, means and authority to learn and use Chinese ideography. Christopher Knight,, "Review: LACMA’s ‘Art of Korean Writing’ reveals the brilliance in each brushstroke," 29 June 2019 Bohemian aristocrats will want to rest at Durslade Farmhouse, an elegant six-bedroom relic on the grounds of Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the Swiss dealers’ sprawling art center. Christian L. Wright, WSJ, "A One-of-a-Kind British Country Inn: Was It Worth the Wait?," 1 Feb. 2019 The plays of Shakespeare, understood as the works of an aristocrat, offered Looney a guide for a wished-for restoration of a repressive feudal regime, in which everyone knew his or her place. James Shapiro, The New Yorker, "An Unexpected Letter from John Paul Stevens, Shakespeare Skeptic," 6 Aug. 2019 In the 1500's, ice cream started to spread through Europe, though at first only rich aristocrats could afford it. Maddie Burakoff And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "National Ice Cream Day means free cones. Here's what to know about everyone's favorite frozen treat," 21 July 2019 Everyone could live like an aristocrat, without anyone having to live like a servant. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Technology and Mankind’s Shrinking Dominion," 19 July 2019

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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Statistics for aristocrat

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for aristocrat

The first known use of aristocrat was in 1787

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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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Comments on aristocrat

What made you want to look up aristocrat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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