Aristocracies
Aristocracy Ar`is*toc"ra*cy, n.; pl. {Aristocracies}. [Gr. ?; ? best + ? to be strong, to rule, ? strength; ? is perh. from the same root as E. arm, and orig. meant fitting: cf. F. aristocratie. See {Arm}, and {Create}, which is related to Gr. ?.] 1. Government by the best citizens. [1913 Webster]

2. A ruling body composed of the best citizens. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

In the Senate Right not our quest in this, I will protest them To all the world, no aristocracy. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

3. A form a government, in which the supreme power is vested in the principal persons of a state, or in a privileged order; an oligarchy. [1913 Webster]

The aristocracy of Venice hath admitted so many abuses, trough the degeneracy of the nobles, that the period of its duration seems approach. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

4. The nobles or chief persons in a state; a privileged class or patrician order; (in a popular use) those who are regarded as superior to the rest of the community, as in rank, fortune, or intellect. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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