ger·​on·​toc·​ra·​cy ˌjer-ən-ˈtä-krə-sē How to pronounce gerontocracy (audio)
plural gerontocracies
: rule by elders
specifically : a form of social organization in which a group of old men or a council of elders dominates or exercises control
gerontocrat noun
gerontocratic adjective

Examples of gerontocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unlike the Eastern Bloc gerontocracies of the zastoi era, there’s nothing ossified about its approach to politics. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 24 Sep. 2023 Hollywood stardom is becoming something unthinkable at any other era of its existence: a gerontocracy. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 30 July 2023 But the confluence of his milestone birthday with the 82-year-old Ms. Pelosi’s passing of the torch has inevitably renewed attention on the gerontocracy that has led both the Democratic and Republican parties for years and raised questions about when a new generation will come forth. Peter Baker, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2022 The gerontocracy critique also threatens to deprive us of our most experienced leaders. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2023 Putting ageism and ableism together yields the hand-wringing about gerontocracy among our political omphaloskeptics. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2023 The gerontocracy will hoard power. Anthony Lydgate, WIRED, 6 Sep. 2022 Maybe there's some experience and wisdom that benefits the country, but the tradeoff is a whiff of gerontocracy to the whole enterprise, a sense that the country is run by and for a group of people who (however well-intentioned) don't necessarily have much stake in its long-term future. Joel Mathis, The Week, 18 Apr. 2022 Youth can’t help but be a contrast in an America that is run by a Boomer and Silent Generation gerontocracy. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 15 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gerontocracy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French gérontocratie, from géronto- geronto- + -cratie -cracy

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gerontocracy was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near gerontocracy

Cite this Entry

“Gerontocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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