oligarchy


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Related to oligarchy: autocracy

ol·i·gar·chy

 (ŏl′ĭ-gär′kē, ō′lĭ-)
n. pl. ol·i·gar·chies
1.
a. Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families.
b. Those making up such a government.
2. A state governed by a few persons.

ol′i·gar′chic, ol′i·gar′chi·cal adj.

oligarchy

(ˈɒlɪˌɡɑːkɪ)
n, pl -chies
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) government by a small group of people
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a state or organization so governed
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a small body of individuals ruling such a state
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) chiefly US a small clique of private citizens who exert a strong influence on government
[C16: via Medieval Latin from Greek oligarkhia, from olígos few + -archy]
ˌoliˈgarchic, ˌoliˈgarchical, ˌoliˈgarchal adj
ˌoliˈgarchically adv

ol•i•gar•chy

(ˈɒl ɪˌgɑr ki)

n., pl. -chies.
1. a form of government in which power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique.
2. a state or organization so ruled.
3. the persons or class so ruling.
[1570–80; < Medieval Latin oligarchia < Greek oligarchía. See olig-, -archy]
ol`i•gar′chic, ol`i•gar′chi•cal, adj.

oligarchy

1. a system of rule by a few persons.
2. the people who form such a government. — oligarch, n.oligarchie, oligarchical, adj.
See also: Government

oligarchy

1. Government by a small faction or group of families, from Greek words meaning “a few” and “chief” or “principal.”
2. A form of government in which power is held by a small group of people.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.oligarchy - a political system governed by a few people; "one of his cardinal convictions was that Britain was not run as a democracy but as an oligarchy"; "the big cities were notoriously in the hands of the oligarchy of local businessmen"
form of government, political system - the members of a social organization who are in power
Translations

oligarchy

[ˈɒlɪgɑːkɪ] Noligarquía f

oligarchy

[ˈɒlɪgɑːrki] n
(= group) → oligarchie f
(= form of government) → oligarchie f

oligarchy

nOligarchie f

oligarchy

[ˈɒlɪˌgɑːkɪ] noligarchia
References in classic literature ?
The city, which was owned by an oligarchy of businessmen, being nominally ruled by the people, a huge army of graft was necessary for the purpose of effecting the transfer of power.
But when the oligarchy of the Thirty was in power, they sent for me and four others into the rotunda, and bade us bring Leon the Salaminian from Salamis, as they wanted to put him to death.
The private attachments of one man might easily be satisfied; but to satisfy the private attachments of a dozen, or of twenty men, would occasion a monopoly of all the principal employments of the government in a few families, and would lead more directly to an aristocracy or an oligarchy than any measure that could be contrived.
Whilst the objection itself is levelled against a pretended oligarchy, the principle of it strikes at the very root of republican government.
Whenever those states which have been acquired as stated have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom, there are three courses for those who wish to hold them: the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you.
The Spartans held Athens and Thebes, establishing there an oligarchy, nevertheless they lost them.
Democracy, he explains, is the government not of the many but of the poor; oligarchy a government not of the few but of the rich.
Not alone do we understand Avis Everhard's love for her hero-husband, but we feel, as he felt, in those first days, the vague and terrible loom of the Oligarchy.
This is, without discussion, the earliest-known occasion on which the Oligarchy was so designated.
The rise of the Oligarchy will always remain a cause of secret wonder to the historian and the philosopher.
That question, I said, is easily answered: the four governments of which I spoke, so far as they have distinct names, are, first, those of Crete and Sparta, which are generally applauded; what is termed oligarchy comes next; this is not equally approved, and is a form of government which teems with evils: thirdly, democracy, which naturally follows oligarchy, although very different: and lastly comes tyranny, great and famous, which differs from them all, and is the fourth and worst disorder of a State.
And the new government which thus arises will be of a form intermediate between oligarchy and aristocracy?