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

Other Words from gerontocracy

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

Examples of gerontocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Salman, the current king and at 86 one of the youngest of Abdulaziz’s brood, saw the perils of unchecked gerontocracy and anointed a successor from the next generation. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 3 Mar. 2022 Now that Americans can expect to live more than twice that long, the government has become a gerontocracy. Charlotte Alter, Time, 21 Oct. 2021 But Congress’s gerontocracy problem shows no sign of abating. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2020 One reason is the rise of the American gerontocracy. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 25 Nov. 2020 The next government will be a veritable gerontocracy, with an 80-year-old speaker of the House and perhaps a 78-year-old Senate majority leader. Jennifer Senior, Star Tribune, 13 Nov. 2020 But barring such an upsurge—which would not play to Trump’s demographic strengths--the gerontocracy must impose some internal discipline, and something like that appears now to be happening. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 17 June 2020 In a gerontocracy like Italy, proposals to encourage the elderly to stay inside would mean shutting away much of the political, academic, industrial, and business elite. Jason Horowitz,, 6 June 2020 But by the second decade of this century, the gerontocracy was no longer sustainable. Christopher Dickey, New York Times, 9 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of gerontocracy

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gerontocracy

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

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The first known use of gerontocracy was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Gerontocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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