aristocracy

Cultural Dictionary

aristocracy definition


A privileged, primarily hereditary ruling class, or a form of government controlled by such an elite.

Note: Traditionally, the disproportionate concentration of wealth, social status, and political influence in the aristocracy has been resented by the middle class and lower class.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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