ger·​on·​toc·​ra·​cy | \ ˌjer-ən-ˈtä-krə-sē How to pronounce gerontocracy (audio) \
plural gerontocracies

Definition of gerontocracy

: 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

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Other Words from gerontocracy

gerontocrat \ jə-​ˈrän-​tə-​ˌkrat How to pronounce gerontocrat (audio) \ noun
gerontocratic \ jə-​ˌrän-​tə-​ˈkra-​tik How to pronounce gerontocratic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gerontocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His rise to power in 2013, at the age of 33, offered a stark contrast with the gerontocracy of Saudi Arabia, where rulers clung to their thrones till reaching their deathbeds. Written By Declan Walsh; Photographs By Tomas Munita, New York Times, "Tiny, Wealthy Qatar Goes Its Own Way, and Pays for It," 22 Jan. 2018 Konstantin von Eggert, an independent political commentator, said the younger generation of loyalists wants to steer clear of the gerontocracy. Nathan Hodge, CNN, "Will Vladimir Putin ever release his grip on Russia?," 18 Mar. 2018 That’s not to say Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian gerontocracy are any more capable of making peace than Israel’s right-wing government. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan: Intimidate the Palestinians Into Surrender," 26 Jan. 2018 Having said all that, what the idea of Kerry running again really illustrates is the gerontocracy governing American politics at present. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Kerry 2020 and the Reign of the Gerontocrats," 25 Jan. 2018 Change in Time Spent Watching Traditional TV by Age Group The upshot is pretty simple: Traditional television is a pure gerontocracy. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Everybody Should Be Very Afraid of the Disney Death Star," 15 Dec. 2017 But far from being unusual, Feinstein is simply the marginally oldest member of a body arguably best described as a gerontocracy. Michelle Cottle, The Atlantic, "The Senate's Lions Draw Frustration From Their Cubs," 16 Oct. 2017 The party’s top jobs are now held by a gerontocracy. The Economist, "Meet the Conservative Party’s new torchbearers," 7 Oct. 2017 All but the most ideological conservatives are likely to follow Trump down this path toward white welfare gerontocracy. Jamelle Bouie, Slate Magazine, "Donald Trump’s budget outline is just latest form of his ethno-nationalist plan for America.," 28 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gerontocracy.' 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 gerontocracy

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gerontocracy

French gérontocratie, from géronto- geront- + -cratie -cracy

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Time Traveler for gerontocracy

The first known use of gerontocracy was in 1830

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Comments on gerontocracy

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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