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[ploo-tok-ruh-see] /pluˈtɒk rə si/
noun, plural plutocracies.
the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy.
a government or state in which the wealthy class rules.
a class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth.
Origin of plutocracy
1645-55; < Greek ploutokratía, equivalent to ploûto(s) wealth + -kratia -cracy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for plutocracy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They will often learn by experience that the democracy has become a plutocracy.

    Statesman Plato
  • Because the danger of plutocracy forced itself on the people.

    Ethics in Service William Howard Taft
  • By the mere health of his soul he could smell out the evil of a plutocracy.

  • American plutocracy has never got itself respected like English aristocracy.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • What has the American plutocracy won at home as a result of the war?

    The American Empire

    Scott Nearing
British Dictionary definitions for plutocracy


noun (pl) -cies
the rule or control of society by the wealthy
a state or government characterized by the rule of the wealthy
a class that exercises power by virtue of its wealth
Derived Forms
plutocratic (ˌpluːtəˈkrætɪk), plutocratical, adjective
plutocratically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Greek ploutokratia government by the rich, from ploutos wealth + -kratia rule, power
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 plutocracy

1650s, from Greek ploutokratia "rule or power of the wealthy or of wealth," from ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + -kratia "rule" (see -cracy). Synonym plutarchy is slightly older (1640s). Pluto-democracy "plutocracy masquerading as democracy" is from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plutocracy in Culture
plutocracy [(plooh-tok-ruh-see)]

Government by the rich. The term is usually one of reproach.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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