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

Lavish lifestyles in mostly impoverished countries, seen as a grotesque kleptocracy by many, and a seeming disdain for the wider population, are a familiar theme. Washington Post, "Sara Netanyahu preceded by avarice of other first wives," 21 June 2018 The analogy with wholesale state kleptocracy was too sharp, and the film was banned for ever. The Economist, "Milos Forman died on April 13th," 21 Apr. 2018 Opposition lawmakers said the 1MDB scandal had turned the country into a global kleptocracy and warned that re-electing the ruling coalition would destroy Malaysia. Washington Post, "Malaysia vote that could decide Najib’s fate set for May 9," 10 Apr. 2018 Perhaps, though, Britain's primary aim is to protect itself from the corrupting influence of Russian kleptocracy. chicagotribune.com, "Britain has no clue why it's punishing Russia," 28 Mar. 2018 Ethics watchdogs and the American public could rest easy knowing that the threat of pay-to-play kleptocracy has abated. Matt Ford, New Republic, "Nationalize the Trump Organization," 21 Feb. 2018 In 2018, Abrams is running against hate, despair and an oligarchy that has turned the White House into a kleptocracy. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "In the Race for Georgia Governor, Can Stacey Abrams Usher In a New Southern Strategy for the Democrats?," 17 Jan. 2018 Mahathir said in an Associated Press interview the opposition alliance campaigning to topple the country’s corruption-tainted leader can win the next general elections and pull Malaysia back from a slide into kleptocracy. Washington Post, "AP Interview: Mahathir says opposition can win Malaysia vote," 18 Sep. 2017 The Justice Department has brought other kleptocracy cases against the children of heads of state, including one involving the daughter of the president of Uzbekistan. Louise Story, New York Times, "U.S. Targets $1 Billion in Assets in Malaysian Embezzlement Case," 20 July 2016

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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