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

The oligarch had the incident written off the books, and as far as the authorities were concerned, the house was empty when the fire broke out. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018 Some fear that, despite its crackdown on Russian oligarchs, the country may back-pedal on fighting corruption out of desperation to show the economy can thrive after Brexit. The Economist, "European firms are increasingly tackling the scourge of bribery," 26 May 2018 The new prime minister must still face the remnants of the old ruling party in parliament and an economy dependent on oligarchs tied to Russia. The Christian Science Monitor, "What happens after an anti-corruption victory," 8 May 2018 Meanwhile, stocks in Russian firms took a nose-dive as sanctions imposed by the U.S. on seven Russian oligarchs on Friday took their toll. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "The Trump administration has a Russia problem.," 9 Apr. 2018 That lawsuit has been financed by Prokhorov, the billionaire oligarch who has publicly defended Russian athletes implicated in the system of doping Rodchenkov revealed. Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, "Russian whistleblower is healthy, lawyer says, refuting reports of suicide attempt," 27 June 2018 The buyers are listed as hedge fund managers, foreign and domestic; Russian oligarchs; Chinese apparel and airline magnates. Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "The Urban Crisis of Affluence," 21 June 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 Intrater is the American cousin of Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch whose company is under US sanctions. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "How Russian money and influence slipped through cracks in the US legal system," 25 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of oligarch

circa 1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oligarch

Greek oligarchēs, from olig- + -archēs -arch

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Statistics for oligarch

Last Updated

22 May 2019

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Time Traveler for oligarch

The first known use of oligarch was circa 1610

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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.

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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).


a strong desire or propensity

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