Trend Watch

Mueller Questions, U.S. May Sanction 'Oligarchs'

Lookups rise 3,000% on reports

Oligarch found itself among a select few group of words (our most searched-for) on April 5th, 2018, following reports that Robert Mueller had questioned Russian businessmen to whom this descriptor applies, along with reports that the U.S. may impose sanctions on said demographic.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has taken the unusual step of questioning Russian oligarchs who traveled into the US, stopping at least one and searching his electronic devices when his private jet landed at a New York area airport, according to multiple sources familiar with the inquiry.
— Kara Scannell and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN (, 4 Apr. 2018

Russian oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin are to face sanctions in the US, according to American media reports, in retaliation for Moscow's interference in the 2016 US election.
— Harriet Alexander, The Telegraph (, 5 Apr. 2018

We define oligarch as “a member or supporter of an oligarchy,” and oligarchy as “a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.” The word has been in use since the early 17th century, and comes from the Greek oligarchēs, which itself is made up of olig- (“few”) and -archēs (“ruler”).

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