Ar`is*toc"ra*cy (#), n.; pl. Aristocracies (#). [Gr. ; best + to be strong, to rule, strength; is perh. from the same root as E. arm, and orig. meant fitting: cf. F. aristocratie. See Arm, and Create, which is related to Gr. .]
Government by the best citizens.
A ruling body composed of the best citizens.
In the Senate
Right not our quest in this, I will protest them
To all the world, no aristocracy.
A form a government, in which the supreme power is vested in the principal persons of a state, or in a privileged order; an oligarchy.
The aristocracy of Venice hath admitted so many abuses, trough the degeneracy of the nobles, that the period of its duration seems approach.
The nobles or chief persons in a state; a privileged class or patrician order; (in a popular use) those who are regarded as superior to the rest of the community, as in rank, fortune, or intellect.
© Webster 1913.