Definition for AR-IS-TOC'RA-CY

AR-IS-TOC'RA-CY, n. [Gr. αριστος, best, and κρατεω, to hold or govern.]

  1. A form of government, in which the whole supreme power is vested in the principal persons of a state; or in a few men distinguished by their rank and opulence. When the supreme power is exercised by a small number, the government is called an oligarchy. The latter word, however, is usually applied to a corrupted form of aristocracy.
  2. The nobility or chief persons in a state.

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