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 But the same system that enables kleptocracy abroad has also made Western democracies less accountable and more susceptible to corruption. Ankush Khardori, The New Republic, 6 May 2022 Crucially, some corporations that until the start of the invasion were willing to sacrifice principles to operate in a lawless kleptocracy have made their break with Putin. Alexandra Wrage, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The sanctions are designed to punish the kleptocracy behind the two-month war by cutting off access to wealth, property and luxury hiding places. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 Newman understands how kleptocracy and oligarchic excess — both in Russia and in the West — repel and attract us in 2022. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Apr. 2022 The staggering, yet seemingly inexplicable, wealth of such families in Putin’s world, experts say, boils down to a single concept: kleptocracy. CNN, 12 Apr. 2022 Putin’s rule is a transnational criminal enterprise and should be treated much in the same way that the U.S. has approached Venezuela’s kleptocracy. Nate Sibley, National Review, 23 Feb. 2022 There’s also been great reporting about the Russian kleptocracy, [or corrupt government]. Karin Wulf, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Mar. 2022 Richard Evans, a historian of the Nazi kleptocracy, points out that the party’s ideological grip on millions of minds was its real power. WSJ, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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 13 Aug. 2022.

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