ol·​i·​gar·​chic ˌä-lə-ˈgär-kik How to pronounce oligarchic (audio)
variants or oligarchical
: of, relating to, or based on an oligarchy

Examples of oligarchic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That may have deeper consequences at a time when Fico’s opponents are warning of his efforts to tighten his grip on power and undermine checks and balances in the furtherance of his interests and those of a set of oligarchic allies. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2024 Some in Ukraine also fear the oligarchs will be replaced by a new oligarchic system emerging from the wartime concentration of power around the government. Constant Méheut, New York Times, 15 Jan. 2024 Because the United States opted not to engage in large-scale redistribution of land, families that collaborated with colonial authorities retain oligarchic control over the soil and dominate the political sphere. Peter S. Goodman Jes Aznar, New York Times, 30 Dec. 2023 From the earliest days of the Republic, those movements insisted that the greatest threat to democracy is not the tyranny of one man but the oligarchic rule of wealth. Corey Robin, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2023 Novelist Ariel Dorfman, a cultural adviser to the Allende government, linked the influential oligarchic interests in Chile that welcomed the collapse of the country’s democracy half a century ago to the current lack of consensus around the rights or wrongs of the coup. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 Klein had spent a lifetime analyzing the dominant power as oligarchic: relentless, resolute, delivered from on high. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 Russian overlords could stymie the Ukrainian president’s efforts to expose oligarchic networks. Maria Popova, Foreign Affairs, 17 Feb. 2022 One journalist at an American publication, who’s done groundbreaking work investigating how these oligarchic figures launder their reputations in the West, told me that upwards of 50 percent of their reportage on certain oligarchs and their networks remains unpublished due to legal concerns. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 2 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oligarchic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, Medieval Latin & Greek; French oligarchique, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Medieval Latin oligarchicus, borrowed from Greek oligarchikós, from oligarchía oligarchy + -ikos -ic entry 1

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oligarchic was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near oligarchic

Cite this Entry

“Oligarchic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligarchic. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!