plutocracy

noun plu·toc·ra·cy \ plü-ˈtä-krə-sē \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of plutocracy

plural plutocracies
1 : government by the wealthy
2 : a controlling class of the wealthy

plutocrat

play \ˈplü-tə-ˌkrat\ noun

plutocratic

play \ˌplü-tə-ˈkra-tik\ adjective

plutocratically

play \ˌplü-tə-ˈkra-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of plutocracy in a Sentence

  1. If only the wealthy can afford to run for public office, are we more a plutocracy than a democracy?

  2. corporate greed and America's growing plutocracy

Recent Examples of plutocracy from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Ploutos was Greek for "wealth", and Plouton, or Pluto, was one of the names used for the Greek god of the underworld, where all the earth's mineral wealth was stored. So a plutocracy governs or wields power through its money. The economic growth in the U.S. in the late 19th century produced a group of enormously wealthy plutocrats. Huge companies like John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil gained serious political power, and Rockefeller was able to influence lawmakers in states where his businesses operated. For this reason, it was said in 1905 that Ohio and New Jersey were plutocracies, not democracies.

Origin and Etymology of plutocracy

Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; akin to Greek plein to sail, float — more at flow


PLUTOCRACY Defined for English Language Learners

plutocracy

noun

Definition of plutocracy for English Language Learners

  • : government by the richest people

  • : a country that is ruled by the richest people

  • : a group of very rich people who have a lot of power


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