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n. pl. chaebol
A conglomerate of businesses, usually owned by a single family, especially in Korea.

[Korean chaebeol (formed on the model of Japanese zaibatsu, zaibatsu, by using the Korean pronunciation of the two Chinese characters with which the Japanese word is written) : chae, wealth (from Early Middle Chinese, dzəj; see zaibatsu) + beol, powerful family (from Early Middle Chinese buat; see zaibatsu).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Commerce) a large, usually family-owned, business group in South Korea
[C20: from Korean, literally: money clan]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The South Korean economy is dominated by industrial ( family-run conglomerates called Chaebols , which take a paternalistic approach to employee relations.
However, despite South Korea's economic rise and enjoying an increase in influence and standards of living, much of its prosperity has been attributed to a handful of conglomerates, better known as chaebols. Chaebols are large industrial South Korean firms that are owned and controlled by a family, which tend to have a monopoly over any single industry.
Chaebols such as Samsung and Hyundai powered South Korea's dramatic rise from the ashes of the 1950-53 war into Asia's fourth-largest economy in less than a generation.
South Korea`s government has called for reform of the country`s family-owned conglomerates, known as chaebols. Chung, the 80-year-old chairman, has made few public appearances and skipped his New Year speech to employees in recent years.
Kim said he is aware of such criticism 'As the reform of power abusers and chaebols received relatively more attention, I am aware of the concern that the FTC has been inactive in its key role of promoting market competition.
The case gripped the public amid growing anger against the country's biggest companies, known as chaebols, and their influence on wider society.
The chaebols of fellow billionaires Chung Mong-koo of Hyundai Motor Co., Chey Tae-won of SK Corp., and Lee Kun-hee of Samsung Electronics Co.
But over the years, it has also come to epitomize the cosy ties between politicians and powerful family-controlled business groups -- or chaebols -- which have been implicated in a series of corruption scandals.
A positive side effect of the AFC was a complete restructuring of the governance of Chaebols (some of which even disappeared from the Korean industrial map).
The power of the chaebols in the ROK economy has fluctuated over time.
More specifically, large Korean family-owned conglomerates called chaebols (2) support (own and sponsor) KBO teams/clubs (3) as affiliates, with chaebols being composed of interconnected affiliated companies through cross-holdings under pyramidal structures (Almeida, Park, Subrahmanyam, & Wolfenzon, 2011).
Whatever, we see here the Korean people venting their growing frustration, maybe rage as well, at the chaebols, powerful business conglomerates, many of which are controlled by dynasties.