Definition of oligarch in English:


Syllabification: ol·i·garch
Pronunciation: /ˈäliˌgärk, ˈōl-


  • 1A ruler in an oligarchy.
    More example sentences
    • The sense of individual identity of the oligarch is entirely located in the social structure of the oligarchy itself.
    • These cities were ruled by oligarchs who enjoyed the backing of the Roman authorities.
    • Kings and oligarchs are playing their last card: we can prevent their game.
  • 2(Especially in Russia) a very rich businessman with a great deal of political influence.
    More example sentences
    • We are starting to win back our country from the media, the oligarchs, the corrupt politicians.
    • The dictatorship of transnational corporations, ruled by financial oligarchs, must be ended.
    • By making their fortunes on the backs of common Russians, the oligarchs themselves are a pretty unsympathetic lot.


late 19th century: from Greek oligarkhēs, from oligoi 'few' + arkhein 'to rule'.

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