oligarchy


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to oligarchy: autocracy

oligarchy

government by the few: The citizens have no voice in an oligarchy.
Not to be confused with:
anarchy – the absence of laws or government: The fall of the empire was followed by chaos and anarchy.
aristocracy – rule by elite or privileged upper class: The governing body was composed of the country’s most powerful aristocracy.
democracy – government by the people: The United States is a democracy.
plutocracy – government in which the wealthy class rules: In a plutocracy, there is little regard for the poor.

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 ?
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. The Iron Heel (well named) we feel descending upon and crushing mankind.
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.
Instead of which, appalling alike to us who look back and to those that lived at the time, capitalism, rotten-ripe, sent forth that monstrous offshoot, the Oligarchy.
Too late did the socialist movement of the early twentieth century divine the coming of the Oligarchy. Even as it was divined, the Oligarchy was there--a fact established in blood, a stupendous and awful reality.
Now he is desirous to have his whole plan of government neither a democracy nor an oligarchy, but something between both, which he calls a polity, for it is to be composed of men-at-arms.
Some persons say, that the most perfect government should be composed of all others blended together, for which reason they commend that of Lacedsemon; for they say, that this is composed of an oligarchy, a monarchy, and a democracy, their kings representing the monarchical part, the senate the oligarchical; and, that in the ephori may be found the democratical, as these are taken from the people.
The same principle prevails also in the choice of their senate; the manner of electing which is favourable also to an oligarchy; for all are obliged to vote for those who are senators of the first class, afterwards they vote for the same number out of the second, and then out of the third; but this compulsion to vote at the election of senators does not extend to the third and fourth classes and the first and second class only are obliged to vote for the fourth.
It is the United States that created the sugar oligarchy, which was then destroyed by Marcos.
Finding that liberalism has become an engine of oligarchy instead of open markets, as exemplified by the monopoly power of tech giants and global finance, he demonstrates how contemporary liberalism is a catalyst for demagogy and employs similar manipulative methods to populism.
An oligarchy, the rule of a few (the rich), leads to a city of the rich and a city of the poor, dwelling together, and always plotting against one another.
President Maduro rejected the New Granada governor's position in which he openly intends to assume the functions of commander-in-chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and authorized the FANB staff to give a resounding response of dignity to Duque and the Colombian oligarchy he represents.