Borrowed from Middle French aristocratie, from Medieval Latin *aristocratia, from Ancient Greek ἀριστοκρατίᾱ (aristokratíā, “the rule of the best“, that is, “the best-born”, “nobility”), from ἄριστος (áristos, “best, noblest”) + -κρατίᾱ (-kratíā), from κράτος (krátos, “power, rule”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌæ.ɹɪˈstɒk.ɹə.si/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌɛɹ.ɪˈstɑk.ɹə.si/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: a‧ris‧to‧cra‧cy
- The nobility, or the hereditary ruling class.
- 1791, Thomas Paine, Rights of Man:
- That, then, which is called aristocracy in some countries and nobility in others arose out of the governments founded upon conquest.
- Government by such a class, or a state with such a government
- 1834, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Francesca Carrara, volume 2, page 255:
- How many false principles have been laid down, how much delusion supported, by reference to the glories of Athens and of Rome! It remained for a later time to observe that those so-called republics were but aristocracy in its most oppressive form; and what are now the people were then positive slaves;...
- A class of people considered (not normally universally) superior to others
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