aristocracy


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

ar·is·toc·ra·cy

 (ăr′ĭ-stŏk′rə-sē)
n. pl. ar·is·toc·ra·cies
1. A hereditary ruling class; nobility.
2.
a. Government by a ruling class.
b. A state or country having this form of government.
3.
a. Government by the citizens deemed to be best qualified to lead.
b. A state having such a government.
4. A group or class considered superior to others.

[Late Latin aristocratia, government by the best, from Greek aristokratiā : aristos, best; see ar- in Indo-European roots + -kratiā, -cracy.]

aristocracy

(ˌærɪˈstɒkrəsɪ)
n, pl -cies
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a privileged class of people usually of high birth; the nobility
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) such a class as the ruling body of a state
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) government by such a class
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a state governed by such a class
5. a class of people considered to be outstanding in a sphere of activity
[C16: from Late Latin aristocratia, from Greek aristokratia rule by the best-born, from aristos best; see -cracy]

ar•is•toc•ra•cy

(ˌær əˈstɒk rə si)

n., pl. -cies.
1. a class of persons holding exceptional rank and privileges, esp. the hereditary nobility.
2. a government or state ruled by an aristocracy, elite, or privileged upper class.
3. government by the best or most able people in the state.
4. a governing body composed of the best or most able people.
5. any class or group regarded as superior because of education, ability, or wealth.
[1555–65; (< Middle French aristocratie) < Medieval Latin aristocracia < Greek aristokratía=aristo(s) best, noblest + -kratia -ceacy]

aristocracy

1. government by the best people.
2. an upper class based on quality, nobility, etc.
See also: Society

Aristocracy

 the nobles or chief officials in a state; the privileged class.
Example: aristocracy is the ruling body of the best citizens, 1531.

aristocracy

A ruling class which inherits wealth, special privileges, and titles; typically accompanied by a monarchy.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.aristocracy - a privileged class holding hereditary titlesaristocracy - a privileged class holding hereditary titles
elite, elite group - a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economic status
noblesse - members of the nobility (especially of the French nobility)
baronage, peerage - the peers of a kingdom considered as a group
baronetage - the collective body of baronets
knighthood - aristocrats holding the rank of knight
samurai - feudal Japanese military aristocracy
aristocrat, blue blood, patrician - a member of the aristocracy
2.aristocracy - the most powerful members of a societyaristocracy - the most powerful members of a society
upper class, upper crust - the class occupying the highest position in the social hierarchy
landed gentry, squirearchy - the gentry who own land (considered as a class)

aristocracy

noun upper class, elite, nobility, gentry, peerage, ruling class, patricians, upper crust (informal), noblesse (literary), haut monde (French), patriciate, body of nobles a member of the aristocracy
masses, working classes, lower classes, commoners, proletariat, common people, hoi polloi, plebs, plebeians, proles (derogatory slang, chiefly Brit.)
Quotations
"An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off; it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead" [Nancy Mitford Noblesse Oblige]
"There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent" [Thomas Jefferson Letter to John Adams]

aristocracy

noun
Translations
أرِسْتوقْراطِيَّه، حُكومَة الأشْراف
аристокрация
aristokraciešlechta
aristokratioverklasse
aristokracija
arisztokrácia
aîall
特権階級貴族貴族政治
aristokratasaristokratijaaristokratiškaiaristokratiškas
aristokrātija
aristokrasisoylular sınıfı

aristocracy

[ˌærɪsˈtɒkrəsɪ] N (= nobility) → aristocracia f

aristocracy

[ˌærɪˈstɒkrəsi] naristocratie f
the aristocracy → l'aristocratie

aristocracy

n (system, state) → Aristokratie f; (= class also)Adel m; aristocracy of wealthGeldadel m, → Geldaristokratie f

aristocracy

[ˌærɪsˈtɒkrəsɪ] naristocrazia

aristocracy

(ӕrəˈstokrəsi) noun
in some countries, the nobility and others of the highest social class, who usually own land.
ˈaristocrat (-krӕt) , ((American) əˈristəkrӕt) noun
a member of the aristocracy.
ˌaristoˈcratic (-ˈkrӕ-) , ((American) əˌristəˈkrӕtik) adjective
(of people, behaviour etc) proud and noble-looking. an aristocratic manner.
ˌaristoˈcratically adverb
References in classic literature ?
Under this arched doorway, scraping their feet on the unworn threshold, now trod the clergymen, the elders, the magistrates, the deacons, and whatever of aristocracy there was in town or county.
The founders of the greater part of the families which now compose the aristocracy of Salem might here be traced, from the petty and obscure beginnings of their traffic, at periods generally much posterior to the Revolution, upward to what their children look upon as long-established rank,
If all the broad land between the Mississippi and the Pacific becomes one great market for bodies and souls, and human property retains the locomotive tendencies of this nineteenth century, the trader and catcher may yet be among our aristocracy.
Why, dear me,ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you.
My mother was all American - no alkali-spider about HER, I can tell you; she was of the best blood of Kentucky, the bluest Blue-grass aristocracy, very proud and acrimonious - or maybe it is ceremonious.
He was well born, as the saying is, and that's worth as much in a man as it is in a horse, so the Widow Douglas said, and nobody ever denied that she was of the first aristocracy in our town; and pap he always said it, too, though he warn't no more quality than a mudcat himself.
The Howards and Driscolls were of this aristocracy.
The dinner was very long, and the conversation was about the Aristocracy - and Blood.
I have no doubt that it was largely nervousness that kept the mysterious playwright so long fumbling behind the scenes, for it was obvious that it would be no ordinary sort of play, no every-day domestic drama, that would satisfy this young lady, to whom life had given, by way of prologue, the inestimable blessing of wealth, and the privilege, as a matter of course, of choosing as she would among the grooms (that is, the bride-grooms) of the romantic British aristocracy.
The barons, or nobles, equally the enemies of the sovereign and the oppressors of the common people, were dreaded and detested by both; till mutual danger and mutual interest effected a union between them fatal to the power of the aristocracy.
This politician discovers in the Constitution a direct and irresistible tendency to monarchy; that is equally sure it will end in aristocracy.
The Chevalier de Valois of Alencon was accepted by the highest aristocracy of the province as a genuine Valois; and he distinguished himself, like the rest of his homonyms, by excellent manners, which proved him a man of society.