A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:


View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1399

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1399

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.

Sources: Burton, Robert (5) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

Attributes: No attributes defined yet for this entry.

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Oligarchy." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 3, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/oligarchy/.

johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.