English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

aristocracy (ˌærɪˈstɒkrəsɪ Pronunciation for aristocracy



(plural) -cies
  1. a privileged class of people usually of high birth; the nobility
  2. such a class as the ruling body of a state
  3. government by such a class
  4. a state governed by such a class
  5. a class of people considered to be outstanding in a sphere of activity

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin aristocratia, from Greek aristokratia rule by the best-born, from aristos best; see -cracy


View thesaurus entry
= upper class, elite, nobility, gentry, peerage, ruling class, patricians, upper crust, noblesse, haut monde, patriciate, body of nobles,

Quotations including 'aristocracy'

  • "Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated" [G.K. Chesterton
  • "An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off; it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead" [Nancy Mitford
  • "There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent" [Thomas Jefferson

Translations for 'aristocracy'

  • British English: aristocracy The aristocracy is a class of people in some countries who have a high social rank and special titles. NOUN...a member of the aristocracy.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: aristocracia
  • Chinese: 贵族阶级贵貴族阶階级級
  • European Spanish: aristocracia
  • French: aristocratie
  • German: Aristokratie
  • Italian: aristocrazia
  • Japanese: 貴族階級
  • Korean: 귀족 계급
  • Portuguese: aristocracia
  • Spanish: aristocracia

Example Sentences Including 'aristocracy'

And how's this... LIVE like the aristocracy in a magnificent French chateau.
The Advertiser, Sunday Mail (2004)
But even enemies of aristocracy could hardly question the counter assertion that aristocracy was a system favouring the nation.
Peregrine Worsthorne IN DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY (2004)
But my aunt Theresa, who lived with us-- she was plain and unmarried, but a dear--had a great regard for the aristocracy.
O'Brian, Patrick Testimonies
Here is his beloved uniform and insignia being worn as fancy dress by a member of the decadent British aristocracy.
SA Star (2005)
So long as it's the aristocracy , bad behaviour is allowed to turn into a delightful eccentricity.
Fay Weldon NOTHING TO WEAR AND NOWHERE TO HIDE: A Collection of Short Stories
The studio specialised in photo-graphing Victorian aristocracy , including visiting Indian royals.
India Today (2001)
There was a Romanised aristocracy that would have been anxious to keep the wild men in the Welsh hills from destroying their villa culture.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
`In my experience, Alpiew dear, there is no single member of the aristocracy who does not claim to be destitute.
Fidelis Morgan THE RIVAL QUEENS: A Countess Ashby de la Zouche Mystery (2002)


Log in to comment on this word.