Definition of plutocracy in English:


nounPlural plutocracies

mass noun
  • 1Government by the wealthy.

    ‘the attack on the Bank of England was a gesture against the very symbol of plutocracy’
    • ‘The danger is that plutocracy will prevail over democracy, that the free market will rule over the free citizen.’
    • ‘What we're effectively seeing is the displacement of democratic representative government with something approaching plutocracy.’
    • ‘Anti-immigrant hatred, urban violence, democracy subverted by plutocracy - these are not, the film shows, new developments.’
    • ‘In a word, aristocracy was displaced by plutocracy.’
    • ‘It would replace democracy with plutocracy, letting the wealthy and big business make laws in their own interests.’
    1. 1.1count noun A state or society governed by the wealthy.
      ‘no one can accept public policies which turn a democracy into a plutocracy’
      • ‘Dark times are ahead because there is no republic anymore only a plutocracy.’
      • ‘It appears we either have been transmuted to an obvious plutocracy - or worse, a fascist dictatorship.’
      • ‘No one, whatever their conception of justice, can accept public policies which turn a democracy into a plutocracy.’
      • ‘Indeed, it does appear they are increasingly living in a plutocracy, and this is a factor that simply cannot be overlooked in the discussion of class polarization.’
      • ‘It is a plutocracy, not a democracy.’
      • ‘Today, more than ever, it resembles a plutocracy, a society governed by a handful of enormously wealthy individuals.’
      • ‘Since most people don't want to admit out loud that they live in a plutocracy, successful politicians have, until now, worked hard to keep up an illusion.’
      • ‘They pointed out that a country ruled by the very wealthy is actually a plutocracy, not a democracy.’
      • ‘We are on the way to becoming a plutocracy.’
      • ‘The country today is a plutocracy, a society run in the interests of billionaires and millionaires.’
      • ‘Since when did the US become an official plutocracy?’
      • ‘Under the guise of democracy, the island is a plutocracy - a political system governed by the wealthy people.’
    2. 1.2count noun An elite or ruling class whose power derives from their wealth.
      ‘officials were drawn from the new plutocracy’
      • ‘For in reality France under Louis XVI was governed not by the nobility, but by a plutocracy in which the majority of nobles had no share.’
      • ‘The country is now ruled by a plutocracy.’
      • ‘As you've pointed out in many of your articles, the revolution against the capitalist plutocracy is largely a war of words and ideas at this point.’
      • ‘Politicians rail against the plutocracy and the baleful influence of ‘the top 1 percent.’’
      • ‘And as skeptical as I am of majority opinion right now, it's better than the unbridled greed of the plutocracy we've got at present.’
      • ‘The new plutocracy wanted a recognizable artistic language that would ease their cultural insecurities and establish their legitimacy.’
      • ‘Class privilege has reached the point where the entire society is ruled by a plutocracy.’
      • ‘In the end, the financial plutocracy handpicked the president.’
      • ‘A century ago the city was a playground for the New York plutocracy.’
      • ‘The existing two-party system, whose personnel are utterly dependent on the financial support of the plutocracy, is thoroughly unrepresentative of the general population.’
      • ‘Right now we have a small elite plutocracy and a whole lot of peasants - no wonder the current system is rotting from the inside. No free society can exist without a strong middle class.’
      • ‘Such policies threaten the interest of the plutocracy that runs this county and controls both the Democrats and Republicans.’
      • ‘The outcome of this inevitable economic process was not government of, for and by the people, but of, for and by the new capitalist plutocracy.’
      • ‘The plutocracy presently in charge of these matters must become alert to the needs of all.’
      • ‘In these various ways, a new plutocracy was emerging in western Europe during the late nineteenth century, composed of aristocratic and bourgeois elements, which compromised the original liberal ideal.’
      • ‘We need to change our government in a revolutionary way, and overthrow the plutocracy (which is firmly rooted in this mentality) that controls our government.’


Mid 17th century: from Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos ‘wealth’ + kratos ‘strength, authority’.