Aristocracy
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.

Synonyms:

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  • Aristocracy — is a form of government, where rule is established through an internal struggle over who has the most status and influence over society and internal relations. Power is maintained by a hereditary elite, from a caste, class, family (dynasty or… …   Wikipedia

  • aristocracy — 1 plutocracy, *oligarchy 2 Aristocracy, nobility, gentry, county, elite, society denote a body of persons who constitute a socially superior caste. Aristocracy often refers to an ideally superior caste and therefore does not invariably apply to a …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • aristocracy — [ar΄i stä′krə sē, er΄i stä′krə sē] n. pl. aristocracies [L aristocratia < Gr aristokratia < aristos, best + kratia, rule < kratos, power, rule: see HARD] 1. Historical government by the best citizens 2. government by a privileged… …   English World dictionary

  • aristocracy — index elite, society Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • aristocracy — (n.) 1560s, from M.Fr. aristocracie (Mod.Fr. aristocratie), from L.L. aristocratia, from Gk. aristokratia government or rule of the best, from aristos best (originally most fitting, from PIE *ar isto , superlative form of *ar to fit together; see …   Etymology dictionary

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  • aristocracy — ► NOUN (pl. aristocracies) ▪ a class comprising people of noble birth with hereditary titles. ORIGIN Greek aristokratia, from aristos best + kratia power …   English terms dictionary

  • aristocracy — /ar euh stok reuh see/, n., pl. aristocracies. 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 those …   Universalium

  • Aristocracy —    A landed aristocracy existed throughout Byzantine history. However, the basis of landholding changed from the more familiar pattern of Late Roman times, with its large estates and numerous coloni (q.v.), peasants bound to the soil, to the… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • aristocracy — UK [ˌærɪˈstɒkrəsɪ] / US [ˌerəˈstɑkrəsɪ] noun [countable] Word forms aristocracy : singular aristocracy plural aristocracies the people in the highest class of society, who usually have money, land, and power and who often have special titles,… …   English dictionary

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