Definition of oligarch in English:

oligarch

noun

  • 1A ruler in an oligarchy.

    • ‘These cities were ruled by oligarchs who enjoyed the backing of the Roman authorities.’
    • ‘In the Cuban view, freedom is the participation in power by the people rather than people trying to carve out limits on the exercise of power by oligarchs.’
    • ‘When Cosimo took control of Florence in 1537, the old oligarchs tried to regain their political power by influencing the seventeen-year-old ruler.’
    • ‘Kings and oligarchs are playing their last card: we can prevent their game.’
    • ‘In 1660 the regency was vested in the oligarchs, and they faced the problem of maintaining Sweden's status without the profits of war.’
    • ‘With this sense of national pride in place, the oligarchs were ready to administer sweeping reforms, the first of which ended the status of the samurai.’
    • ‘The sense of individual identity of the oligarch is entirely located in the social structure of the oligarchy itself.’
    • ‘First of all, we have been supporting despots, dictators, and oligarchs in all those states for a variety of purposes.’
  • 2(especially in Russia) a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence.

    • ‘The oligarchs are greatly resented by large numbers of Russians who did not benefit from the privatisation of state property.’
    • ‘It was about who rules Russia, the oligarchs or the Kremlin.’
    • ‘While oligarchs grow rich and a significant number of Russians are impoverished, a multipart economy has developed.’
    • ‘Some have lost their status as a result of the August 1998 financial crisis but all of the original seven oligarchs are included here.’
    • ‘Putin has the opportunity to put an end to a number of Russian oligarchs, or at least to radically diminish their pernicious political role.’
    • ‘He predicts more such actions aimed at oligarchs who control strategic natural resources.’
    • ‘At the heart of the technocratic agenda was trade liberalization, which threatened the protectionist policies that had coddled the native oligarchs.’
    • ‘Western officials and banks worked with (and continue to work with) the new Russian oligarchs and their political allies.’
    • ‘The dictatorship of transnational corporations, ruled by financial oligarchs, must be ended.’
    • ‘What many Russian oligarchs could only dream about over the last years has now become a reality.’
    • ‘Flanked by a coterie of burly henchmen, the Russian oligarch promptly takes to one of the pitches intent on some shooting practice.’
    • ‘Nor will they benefit by being ruled by oligarchs from the western Ukraine rather than from the eastern Ukraine.’
    • ‘The Kremlin also gave indications that it would take action against other oligarchs.’
    • ‘Until late 1999, moreover, almost none of the oligarchs had done much to restructure or improve the assets they had acquired from the state.’
    • ‘The wealth of the Russian state was transferred not to the people but to a few oligarchs.’
    • ‘We are starting to win back our country from the media, the oligarchs, the corrupt politicians.’
    • ‘By making their fortunes on the backs of common Russians, the oligarchs themselves are a pretty unsympathetic lot.’
    • ‘The article praises Vladimir Putin for fighting with oligarchs.’
    • ‘The oligarchs, those Kremlin-connected magnates who once dazzled the world with their riches, are reeling.’
    • ‘Rather, he manoeuvred and tried to reconcile his loyalty towards Putin with his support for the oligarchs.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from Greek oligarkhēs, from oligoi few + arkhein to rule.

Pronunciation:

oligarch

/ˈäləˌɡärk/