klep·​toc·​ra·​cy | \ klep-ˈtä-krə-sē How to pronounce kleptocracy (audio) \
plural kleptocracies

Definition of kleptocracy

: government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed also : a particular government of this kind

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Other Words from kleptocracy

kleptocrat \ ˈklep-​tə-​ˌkrat How to pronounce kleptocrat (audio) \ noun
kleptocratic \ ˌklep-​tə-​ˈkra-​tik How to pronounce kleptocratic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of kleptocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the past 30 years, corruption has become entrenched, kleptocracy the norm. Rebecca Hamilton, Washington Post, "The Georgetown Student Who Became Justice Minister of Sudan," 5 Feb. 2020 Mrs Warren has since focused heavily on her loathing for sleaze and kleptocracy on the campaign trail. The Economist, "How Elizabeth Warren could benefit from the impeachment saga," 27 Sep. 2019 The fact that America has been a bastion of anonymous shells is a blight on Washington’s claims to be fighting kleptocracy and grand corruption abroad. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "How to Stop Kleptocrats From Stashing Their Cash in America," 18 Sep. 2019 Yet none of Guaido's failure alters the underlying crisis at the heart of Venezuela: that its kleptocracy and mismanagement are still bleeding it dry, with hundreds of thousands still refugees around the region. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Things have changed for Venezuela. But they're not what Juan Guaido hoped for," 21 Jan. 2020 Kolomoisky is the logical end-point for America’s collapse into becoming the global capital of kleptocracy. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "Meet Trumpworld’s Next Top Ukrainian Grifter," 16 Dec. 2019 Every time someone leaves a kleptocracy for a more law-abiding state, humanity is slightly better governed. The Economist, "Voting with your feet Why voting with your feet is more effective than a ballot," 14 Nov. 2019 Post-independence, Congo veered into kleptocracy under the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, "A Top Leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Political Opposition Returns," 12 Sep. 2019 This can be traced back to the end of Robert Mugabe’s kleptocracy. The Economist, "Zimbabwe faces its worst economic crisis in a decade," 15 Aug. 2019

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

1819, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of kleptocracy was in 1819

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Cite this Entry

“Kleptocracy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kleptocracy. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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