ol·​i·​garch | \ ˈä-lə-ˌgärk How to pronounce oligarch (audio) , ˈō- How to pronounce oligarch (audio) \

Definition of oligarch

: a member or supporter of an oligarchy

Examples of oligarch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some of that lucre reportedly came from a company with ties to a Russian oligarch—and some from major blue chip companies, including AT&T and Novartis. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Novartis Put Money In Michael Cohen’s Cookie Jar. Did It Get Any Cookies In Return?," 9 May 2018 Investigators are trying to understand the motivations behind a $500,000 payment from Columbus Nova, a US investment firm with ties to a Russian oligarch connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Times. Fred Vogelstein, WIRED, "What Did AT&T Want From Michael Cohen?," 9 May 2018 Under Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich, the club has burned through 12 managers in 15 seasons. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Chelsea May Have to Hit the Reset Button, Again," 22 Feb. 2019 Unbeknownst to Maryland officials, ByteGrid had been purchased two years earlier by a Russian fund manager whose largest investor is Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin, who in turn has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Chelsea would have to pay Conte's existing contract off - around £9m - and stump up £7m to prise Sarri out of his contract in Naples, but Abramovich's deep pockets mean that shouldn't be a problem for the Russian oligarch. SI.com, "Napoli Boss Sarri Installed As New Priority Target to Replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea This Summer," 19 Apr. 2018 There’s his former client, the oligarch Oleg Deripaska, to whom Manafort was heavily indebted. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Does Mueller think Paul Manafort is the key to collusion?," 15 June 2018 The gleeful oligarch emerged from jail pledging to overthrow Mr Nazarbayev. The Economist, "Kazakhstan’s government squelches the least hint of dissent," 26 Apr. 2018 The process was highlighted recently by an arrangement struck by the Treasury and a number of Russian companies owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.S. Signals Off-Ramp for Sanctions Against Venezuelan TV Station," 8 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oligarch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of oligarch

circa 1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oligarch

Greek oligarchēs, from olig- + -archēs -arch

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oligarch

Dictionary Entries near oligarch








Statistics for oligarch

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oligarch

The first known use of oligarch was circa 1610

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oligarch



English Language Learners Definition of oligarch

somewhat formal : a person who belongs to a small group of people who govern or control a country, business, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on oligarch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oligarch

Nglish: Translation of oligarch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oligarch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oligarch

What made you want to look up oligarch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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