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

Other Words from kleptocracy

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

Examples of kleptocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The network that kleptocrats rely on to move and stash illicit cash contributes to the cycle of kleptocracy, further eroding democracy and the rule of law. Alexandra Wrage, Forbes, 5 Nov. 2021 Attorney General Eric Holder announced the formation of a new shop in Washington dedicated to fighting rising kleptocracy. Casey Michel, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2021 The country is a family-run kleptocracy with no free elections, no impartial court system and no independent news media. Anchorage Daily News, 18 July 2021 But the collapsing currency, the tottering economy, the oligarchic corruption, plus the Peker videos depicting a dark and scary kleptocracy have likely put paid to Erdogan (as many native commentators argue). Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Rather than meekly criticize sanctions, the Biden administration should build on the hard work of the previous administration to combat Maduro’s kleptocracy and hold the regime accountable for its crimes. Marshall Billingslea, National Review, 9 May 2021 At his urging, Russians gathered in the street from coast to coast to protest the kleptocracy. Kyle Smith, National Review, 7 Apr. 2021 Putin's kleptocracy has but one viable business, oil and gas. Star Tribune, 16 Jan. 2021 His page-turning account of U.S. complicity in creating Joseph Mobutu’s kleptocracy in Congo is a reminder of how policies can succeed on one level and fail on another. Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2020

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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Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kleptocracy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kleptocracy. Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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