[jer-uh n-tok-ruh-see, jeer-]
noun, plural ger·on·toc·ra·cies.
  1. government by a council of elders.
  2. a governing body consisting of old people.
  3. a state or government in which old people rule.

Origin of gerontocracy

First recorded in 1820–30; geronto- + -cracy
Related formsge·ron·to·crat [juh-ron-tuh-krat] /dʒəˈrɒn təˌkræt/, nounge·ron·to·crat·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gerontocracy

Historical Examples of gerontocracy

  • Gerontocracy, that is, government by the aged, is the most ancient form of government.

British Dictionary definitions for gerontocracy


noun plural -cies
  1. government by old people
  2. a governing body of old people
Derived Formsgerontocratic (dʒəˌrɒntəˈkrætɪk), adjectivegerontocrat, noun
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

Word Origin and History for gerontocracy

rule by old men, 1830, from Greek geront-, from geron "old man" (see gerontology) + kratia "rule" (see -cracy). Related: Gerontocratic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gerontocracy in Culture



A society ruled by elders.

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