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Words nearby oligarch
What does oligarch mean?
An oligarch is one of the select few people who rule or influence leaders in an oligarchy—a government in which power is held by a select few individuals or a small class of powerful people.
Oligarchs can be the actual leaders, or they can influence or control the decisions that the leaders make (meaning they’re the ones “pulling the strings” behind the scenes).
Oligarchy is never used as an official term for a form of government (like monarchy is, for example)—it’s almost always applied as a criticism of such situations. It is frequently used as a way of pointing out the influence of the wealthy and powerful in politics and government—an influence that’s typically used to benefit themselves. Oligarch is used in the same way.
A country that is thought to have an oligarchic government can also be referred to as an oligarchy, as in Many outsiders view the nation as an oppressive oligarchy.
Oligarchy can also refer to the class of people who have the power in this kind of system, as in The country was run by an oligarchy consisting of a few powerful industrialists.
The word oligarch can refer to a person who’s a part of an oligarchy in any of the senses of the word.
Example: Oligarchs from just three powerful families have run the country for decades, serving only their own interests.
Where does oligarch come from?
The first records of the word oligarch come from the early 1600s. It comes from the Greek oligarchía and is formed from oligo-, meaning “few,” and -arch, meaning “ruler” or “leader” (the same ending is used in monarch).
The word oligarch does not imply a specific political doctrine or philosophy. Instead, it’s based on the fact that only a few powerful people control things. In this sense, oligarchy can be thought of as the opposite of democracy—at least based on the roots of each word. While oligarchy is the “rule of the few,” democracy is thought of as the “rule of the many”—demo– means “people” and –cracy means “rule.” (A dictatorship is the “rule of the one.”)
People considered oligarchs are often thought to be part of a small group of powerful, elite people whose power comes through wealth, connections, or some other status that makes them highly influential. Though there are few of them, oligarchs may not always act in agreement and may even oppose each other. However, the fact that they are among the few who have real power makes oligarchs. Referring to someone as an oligarch usually implies that they’re part of a system that’s corrupt and oppressive—regardless of the official form of government or the specific politics of its leaders.
Oligarch is often used alongside other critical terms for members of other forms of government thought to be corrupt or unjust, such as plutocrat (a wealthy person who uses their wealth to rule or control the government) and autocrat (a ruler with unlimited power).
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What are some other forms related to oligarch?
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What are some words that often get used in discussing oligarch?
How is oligarch used in real life?
Oligarch is almost always used in a critical way. It usually implies that rule by only a few always results in corruption and oppression.
Navalny has suggested that the EU get tougher on Russian oligarchs who are close to the Kremlin by banning them from entering the EU. https://t.co/9RQ0hVvsri
— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@RFERL) October 7, 2020
Jose Mourinho has backed Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion some clubs in the Premier League have bypassed financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic because they are owned by oligarchs and countries. Liverpool boss Klopp made the comments with his side’s transfer business.
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) September 11, 2020
AMERICA HAS GREAT LEADERSHIP
…if the overarching objective is to cement the power and wealth of plutocrats, oligarchs, white supremacists, and theocrats.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) March 28, 2020
Try using oligarch!
Is oligarch used correctly in the following sentence?
People labeled him as an oligarch for using his billions to sway elections and influence legislation.
Example sentences from the Web for oligarch
The 1990s deregulation of Russia’s energy industry, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, is a case in point, as it transformed a handful of apparatchiks into oligarchs.
Remember that Putin executed a series of moves to deprive certain oligarchs of their business interests in favor of oligarchs more favored by him.Democracy depends on Washington improving its tech|Adam Lashinsky|September 17, 2020|Fortune
When I suggest a Russian oligarch as a possible purchaser, Lobanov says, "No, where could they keep it in Russia?"The World's Most Beautiful Boat—Yours for Half a Billion Dollars|Tim Teeman|October 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Few constituents celebrate the oligarch lifestyle of the rich and famous Congressman, supported by our hard earned tax dollars.Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff On Congressional Travel Disclosure|Jack Abramoff|July 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Enter Igor Kolomoiskiy, an imposing oligarch and the governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region.
An oligarch opposed to Russia offers rewards for the capture of commandos occupying government buildings.
The oligarch tried to clarify things on his Facebook page: “The first $10,000 tranche is finished,” he said.
What Dickens and other romancers do probably omit from the picture of the eighteenth-century oligarch is probably his liberality.Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens|G. K. Chesterton
The martial poet Tyrtaeus, and the oligarch Theognis, furnish him with happy illustrations of the two sorts of courage.Laws|Plato
I cannot lay too great stress upon this high ethical righteousness of the whole oligarch class.
I flatter myself that I maintained my composure under the keen eye of the oligarch, but my heart was beating madly.
He was a beardless young fellow, a cadet, evidently, of some great oligarch family.