Oligárchy. n.s. [ὀλιγαρχία.] A form of government which places the supreme power in a small number; aristocracy.
The worst kind of oligarchy, is, when men are governed indeed by a few, and yet are not taught to know what those few be, to whom they should obey. Sidney, b. ii.
We have no aristocracies but in contemplation, all oligarchies, wherein a few men domineer, do what they list. Burt.
After the expedition into Sicily, the Athenians chose four hundred men for administration of affairs, who became a body of tyrants, and were called an oligarchy, or tyranny of the few; under which hateful denomination they were soon after deposed. Swift.