noun, plural kak·is·toc·ra·cies.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of kakistocracy
OTHER WORDS FROM kakistocracyka·kis·to·crat·i·cal [kuh-kis-tuh-krat-i-kuhl], /kəˌkɪs təˈkræt ɪ kəl/, adjective
Words nearby kakistocracy
What does kakistocracy mean?
A kakistocracy is a government in which the worst people are in charge.
This obscure word is used in political commentary, especially to call out a government considered corrupt or incompetent.
Example: If you don’t vote, you’re basically asking for a kakistocracy, because of course the worst people want to be in power.
Where does kakistocracy come from?
You probably know that the Greek root -cracy refers to “government” or “rule” because of the -cracies you’ve heard of: democracy, aristocracy, bureaucracy. But kakistocracy? The first part of the word comes from the Greek kákisto(s), meaning “worst.” So kakistocracy means “government by the worst.”
The earliest known use of the word was in the 1600s by Paul Gosnold, a loyalist to King Charles I during the English Civil War. He gave a speech to Parliament warning of what could happen if the monarchy descended into kakistocracy (the king’s buddies always say that). Nearly 200 years later, in 1829, English novelist Thomas Love Peacock used the word in his book The Misfortunes of Elphin. Today, the word is mainly used in political commentary criticizing corrupt governments. It often shows up alongside other negative terms for forms of government, like plutocracy (rule by the rich) and oligarchy (rule by a powerful few).
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What are some other forms of kakistocracy?
What are some words similar to kakistocracy?
What are some words that share a root or word element with kakistocracy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing kakistocracy?
How is kakistocracy used in real life?
Kakistocracy is rarely used, but when it does come up, it’s used primarily in political rhetoric.
Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey. As the greatest Nation history has known, we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger & more committed to ensuring a better life for all Americans, including those you have so tragically deceived. https://t.co/eC6LATH2Gd
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) April 13, 2018
Look up the definition of "kakistocracy" today, my fellow Americans. Things will make much more sense.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 29, 2017
Australia. Another Kakistocracy. https://t.co/TiXWb1b7gQ
— Graham Johns (@GrahamDJohns) January 2, 2020
Try using kakistocracy!
Which of the following words best describes rulers in a kakistocracy?
D. All of the above