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[klep-tok-ruh-see] /klɛpˈtɒk rə si/
noun, plural kleptocracies.
a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by a thief or thieves.
Origin of kleptocracy
1815-20; klepto- (combining form of Greek kléptēs thief) + -cracy
Related forms
kleptocrat [klep-tuh-krat] /ˈklɛp təˌkræt/ (Show IPA), noun
kleptocratic [klep-tuh-krat-ik] /ˌklɛp təˈkræt ɪk/ (Show IPA), adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for kleptocracy


noun (pl) -cies
(informal) a government where officials are politically corrupt and financially self-interested
Word Origin
C20: from klepto(mania) + -cracy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for kleptocracy

"rule by a class of thieves," 1819, originally in reference to Spain; see kleptomania + -cracy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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