One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A state, society, or group governed by old people.
- ‘The author was, of course, the first to depict a totalitarian gerontocracy.’
- ‘This country's gerontocracy is not so much kinder and gentler as paralytic.’
- ‘Some of your friends are amazed when you say this, but you reason that a gerontocracy can fashion the future for just so long.’
- ‘In contrast to India's gerontocracy, there is a worldwide trend for having young leaders.’
- ‘Workers will resent handing over their entire paycheques to fund the gerontocracy and then have to suffer through fogeyish easy listening classics on every radio station.’
- ‘If he succeeds, it would spell the end of the narrow-based gerontocracy that has dominated French political life for the last generation and could usher in real change.’
- ‘The retirement of this gerontocracy led to the so-called fifth generation of leaders now in charge of the Party and the country.’
- ‘It's no surprise that American media organizations are gerontocracies.’
- ‘If such longtime supporters abandoned ship, surely the gerontocracy in Hanoi was out of touch.’
- ‘This person could have represented our interests in the raving gerontocracy that is the city government.’
- ‘The current Court is nothing less than a gerontocracy.’
- ‘It is easy to depict them as a complacent gerontocracy immured in its certainties and unwilling to rethink the future.’
- ‘In the gerontocracy that was early America, the Puritans held that living to a ripe old age was a sign from above.’
- ‘You quickly begin to feel that the country is the opposite of Britain: where we're obsessed by the youth of our leaders, Italy is determined to remain a gerontocracy.’
- ‘This society is a gerontocracy based on obedience to and respect for those who are older than oneself.’
- 1.1mass noun Government based on rule by old people.
- ‘This has been referred to as gerontocracy, but it may be preferable to see it as an expression of a link with past generations.’
- ‘The old nobility dominated the officer corps and, since there was no retirement system, gerontocracy prevailed: seniority counted for everything.’
- ‘We have to admit that stubborn gerontocracy has been a major obstacle to reforming politics due to the aged politicians' obstinacy and narrow-mindedness.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek gerōn, geront- ‘old man’ + -cracy.
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