aristocracy

aristocracy
noun (plural -cies) Etymology: Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French aristocratie, from Late Latin aristocratia, from Greek aristokratia, from aristos best + -kratia -cracy Date: 1561 1. government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class 2. a. a government in which power is vested in a minority consisting of those believed to be best qualified b. a state with such a government 3. a governing body or upper class usually made up of a hereditary nobility 4. the aggregate of those believed to be superior

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

  • aristocracy — [n] privileged class, government elite, gentility, gentry, haut monde, high society, nobility, noblesse, patricians, patriciate, peerage, society, upper class, upper crust*; concepts 296,423 Ant. commoners, plebites, proletariat …   New thesaurus

  • 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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