noun, plural ar·is·toc·ra·cies.
- aristide, jean-bertrand,
Origin of aristocracy
Examples from the Web for aristocracy
Undoubtedly, the enormous inherited fortunes of the aristocracy facilitated a certain eccentricity.
The British aristocracy is littered with stories of unmitigated spendthrifts who seem bent on self-destruction.
Kennedy mixed socially with leading British figures, particularly among the aristocracy, who agreed with him.Blood and War: The Hard Truth About ‘Boots on the Ground’|Clive Irving|September 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Why, I wonder, is Davenport so obsessed with defining himself as part of the British aristocracy?
Her father was a Viscount, so Taylor married into the Catalan aristocracy.Whit Stillman on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Barcelona’, His New Amazon Series, and the Myth of the Ugly Expat|Michael Weiss|August 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This aristocracy was only in a very limited degree of native origin.Wanderings in Corsica, Vol. 1 of 2|Ferdinand Gregorovius
The dethronement of aristocracy in favour of democracy has proceeded on very similar lines.The Rise of the Democracy|Joseph Clayton
The aristocracy of England are not all of them overwhelmed by the dignity of their "ancient descent."Lancashire Sketches|Edwin Waugh
Famine-stricken Ireland, and not full-fed English aristocracy, is the owner of the soil of Ireland.Sketches of Reforms and Reformers, of Great Britain and Ireland|Henry B. Stanton
He became discontented with the Crown, and even with the aristocracy.Beacon Lights of History, Volume IX|John Lord
noun plural -cies
Word Origin for aristocracy
1560s, from Middle French aristocracie (Modern French aristocratie), from Late Latin aristocratia, from Greek 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 arm (n.1)) + kratos "rule, power" (see -cracy).
At first in a literal sense of "government by those who are the best citizens;" meaning "rule by a privileged class" (best-born or best-favored by fortune) is from 1570s and became paramount 17c. Hence, the meaning "patrician order" (1650s). In early use contrasted with monarchy; after French and American revolutions, with democracy.
A privileged, primarily hereditary ruling class, or a form of government controlled by such an elite.