oligarchy |ˈäliˌgärkē; ˈōli-|
noun ( pl. chies)
a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution the ruling oligarchy of military men around the president.
• a state governed by such a group the English aristocratic oligarchy of the 19th century.
• government by such a group.

oligarchic |ˌäliˈgärkik; ˌōli-| adjective
oligarchical |ˌäliˈgärkikəl; ˌōli-| adjective
oligarchically |ˌäliˈgärkik(ə)lē; ˌōli-| adverb

ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Greek
oligarkhia (probably via medieval Latin).

USAGE See usage at aristocracy .

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