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 .