Adjective "oligarchy" definition and examples

(Oligarchy may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


A small group of people having control of a country or organization.
  1. 'Since independence, the blue in the flag has symbolized support for the ruling oligarchy, while the red has symbolized support for communism or resistance.'
  2. 'The corporation controlled by the financial oligarchy eclipses the modern state and replaces the legal framework within which even the most authoritarian state operates with its sole Law - the urge for profit.'
  3. 'At home, war will exacerbate social polarization as an ever-greater share of the national income is transferred to both the financial oligarchy and the military.'
  4. 'More and more, a financial oligarchy has wrested control of society.'
  5. 'The war is a policy supported by and conducted in the interests of a ruling oligarchy that both major parties represent and defend.'
  6. 'You organize the world into different religions, and then set the religions to fight each other, as a way a small power, an oligarchy, can control the world: setting one group of people against the other.'
  7. 'He went on to say that the demonstrations, and the fact that the war was being carried out despite such enormous opposition, expressed the deep chasm that exists between a ruling oligarchy and the vast majority of the world's population.'
  8. 'The way it controlled the subject peoples, the way the empires of Mesopotamia, in their time, controlled subject peoples: How does a small oligarchy control a large mass of people?'
  9. 'He and the Democrats have adopted a reactionary platform not because they think it is necessary to win the popular vote, but because such a program is required by the financial oligarchy that controls both major political parties.'
  10. 'Businesses created by the Internet are undermining the control of traditional business-government oligarchies.'
  11. 'he believed that Britain was an oligarchy'
  12. 'Switzerland was still controlled by cantonal oligarchies who would cede very little of their sovereignty to the Federal Diet or Federal Directory.'
  13. 'The Caliphate became a monarchy, first absolute, then nominal, controlled by oligarchies, feudal lords, warlords, tribal chiefs and regional chieftains.'
  14. 'This happened because Britain alone had a culture of individualism which regarded individual property ownership as the natural state for everything - and it was governed by an oligarchy of property owners.'
  15. 'The result of short-term royal success in eviscerating local government was a system of degenerate petty oligarchies dependent on government initiative.'
  16. 'This too prevented an oligarchy from developing in Israel as it had in ancient Canaanite society.'
  17. 'For more than a millennium, until its fall in 1797, the Republic of Venice was governed by an oligarchy, comprising a limited number of patrician families.'
  18. 'To all but the ruling oligarchy in China, Falun Gong looks like any other of countless sects and groups, benign and unthreatening.'
  19. 'According to Rhodes, ‘the political system of the South was an oligarchy under the republican form.’'
  20. 'He explains that the best state has a large number of these people of moderate wealth, because they will support neither an extreme oligarchy nor an extreme democracy.'
  21. 'But Sparta, the champion of oligarchies, set up an oligarchical regime whenever it took control of a city.'
  22. 'The leaders of the party and its principal organizations now formed a new oligarchy of privileged citizens.'
  23. 'The city's artisans rebelled against the ruling oligarchy of merchants and nobles.'
  24. 'The Spartan constitution was mixed, containing elements of monarchy, oligarchy and democracy.'
  25. 'Consequently it reflects, to a considerable extent, the political evolution of the nation, from governing monarchy, through oligarchy and aristocracy, to parliamentary democracy.'
  26. 'They were ruled by oligarchies or councils of elders, or some mixture of the two, and might therefore best be called tribal republics.'
  27. 'Gone are the days when democracy was a window dressing for an oligarchy.'

More definitions

1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.

2. a state or organization so ruled.

3. the persons or class so ruling.

More examples(as adjective)

"wants can be oligarchy."

"ups can be oligarchy."

"rulings can be oligarchy."


Late 15th century: from Greek oligarkhia, from oligoi ‘few’ and arkhein ‘to rule’.