Oligarchy Ol"i*gar"chy, n.; pl. {Oligarchies}. [Gr. ?; 'oli`gos few, little + 'a`rchein to rule, govern: cf. F. oligarchie.] A form of government in which the supreme power is placed in the hands of a few persons; also, those who form the ruling few. [1913 Webster]

All oligarchies, wherein a few men domineer, do what they list. --Burton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • oligarchy — ol‧i‧gar‧chy [ˈɒlgɑːki ǁ ˈɑːlgɑːrki, ˈoʊ ] noun oligarchies PLURALFORM 1. [uncountable] when a country is ruled or controlled by a small group of people, usually from the same social class: • Oligarchy took over from democracy. 2. [countable] a …   Financial and business terms

  • oligarchy — oligarchy, aristocracy, plutocracy are comparable when they mean government by, or a state governed by, the few. The terms are often applied to governments or states that are ostensibly monarchies or republics but are, in the opinion of the user …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • oligarchy — n. Rule of a nation, institution, etc., by a few, i.e., by a small group of people. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • oligarchy — (n.) 1570s, from M.Fr. oligarchie (14c.), from Gk. oligarkhia government by the few, from oligoi few, small, little (of unknown origin) + arkhein to rule (see ARCHON (Cf. archon)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • oligarchy — ► NOUN (pl. oligarchies) 1) a small group of people having control of a state. 2) a state governed by such a group. DERIVATIVES oligarchic adjective. ORIGIN from Greek oligoi few + arkhein to rule …   English terms dictionary

  • oligarchy — [äl′i gär΄kē] n. pl. oligarchies [Gr oligarchia: see OLIG(O) & ARCHY] 1. a form of government in which the ruling power belongs to a few persons 2. a state governed in this way 3. the persons ruling such a state oligarchic adj. oligarchical …   English World dictionary

  • Oligarchy — Part of the Politics series Basic forms of government Aristocracy Autocracy …   Wikipedia

  • oligarchy — [[t]ɒ̱lɪgɑː(r)ki[/t]] oligarchies 1) N COUNT An oligarchy is a small group of people who control and run a particular country or organization. You can also refer to a country which is governed in this way as an oligarchy. Athens was suffering… …   English dictionary

  • oligarchy — /ol i gahr kee/, n., pl. oligarchies. 1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few. 2. a state or organization so ruled. 3. the persons or class so ruling. [1570 80; …   Universalium

  • oligarchy — UK [ˈɒlɪˌɡɑː(r)kɪ] / US [ˈɑlɪˌɡɑrkɪ] noun Word forms oligarchy : singular oligarchy plural oligarchies 1) [countable] a country governed by a small group of people. Someone in this group is called an oligarch. 2) [uncountable] the control of a… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”