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1. the rule or control of society by the wealthy
2. a state or government characterized by the rule of the wealthy
3. a class that exercises power by virtue of its wealth
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the rule of the wealthy and the dominance of money. Most often plutocracy denotes a state system in which political power belongs to the most well-to-do circles. Plutocracy may exist de facto and with high property qualifications established by law, or it may exist simply de facto and irrespective of declared democratic norms. Essentially, exploiting states are always plutocratic in nature, but the term is usually applied to states ruled openly by the highest and economically most influential strata of the most dominant class.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At Sotheby's the other thing plutocrats buy is complete and utter discretion.
Yes, he still has quite a lot to say, but to put it bluntly, it is ineffectual such as the time, not long ago, when he declared that the club wanted nothing to do with the likes of Stan Kroenke, an American plutocrat with sporting franchises.
MARKET RASEN: 2.00 Scary Night, 2.30 Beseiged, 3.00 Kavi, 3.30 Plutocrat, 4.05 Pornic, 4.35 Royal Snoopy, 5.05 Silent Age.
He sent out Plutocrat to storm home in the pounds 20,000 event - richest jumps race ever run at the track - in the hands of conditional Bruce Gibson.
Lenny Lungo has his string in good heart and his sixyear-old gelding Plutocrat should run a big race in the Tote Exacta Handicap Hurdle (3.30) at Haydock.
His near 10-1 three-timer at Gosforth Park on Monday came on Lenny Lungo's heavily-backed pair Mirjan and Plutocrat, plus the Pat Haslam-trained Bustling Rio.
In the inner sanctum one plutocrat - the conservative banker's banker - muses, the other - the jet setter with the trophy wife muses back.
However, I cannot help thinking this is the start of a slippery slope which could see the British people being deprived of national treasures like that surreal masterpiece "legitimate expenses claim", artist unknown, which proudly adorns the walls of the Palace of Westminster, to some Middle Eastern or Chinese plutocrat to lock away in a safe never to be enjoyed by mere mortals again.
Though debates often reinforce existing perceptions, Romney took steps towards reversing his image as an out-of-touch plutocrat.
Richard Wakeham, rider of runner-up Plutocrat, was handed a one-day suspension (date not yet set) after being found guilty of careless riding.
By making it abundantly clear that the actors and singers hired to provide after-dinner entertainment for a nouveau riche plutocrat are to be treated as servants from a lower order, Armfield explains the sense of inferiority and insecurity which in fact leads to preperformance tantrums.
There's some decent money on offer in the pounds 15,000 William Hill On 0800 44 40 40 Handicap Hurdle and Plutocrat looks primed to take the prize to Scotland for trainer Lenny Lungo.