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[ol-i-gahr-kee] /ˈɒl ɪˌgɑr ki/

noun, plural oligarchies.
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.
a state or organization so ruled.
the persons or class so ruling.
noun (pl) -chies
government by a small group of people
a state or organization so governed
a small body of individuals ruling such a state
(mainly US) a small clique of private citizens who exert a strong influence on government

1570s, from Middle French oligarchie (14c.), from Greek oligarkhia “government by the few,” from stem of oligos “few, small, little” (see oligo-) + arkhein “to rule” (see archon).
oligarchy [(ol-uh-gahr-kee, oh-luh-gahr-kee)]

A system of government in which power is held by a small group.


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