1. a political system governed by a few people
; - Example: "one of his cardinal convictions was that Britain was not run as a democracy but as an oligarchy"- Example: "the big cities were notoriously in the hands of the oligarchy of local businessmen"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Oligarchy \Ol"i*gar"chy\, n.; pl. Oligarchies. [Gr. ?;
'oli`gos few, little + 'a`rchein to rule, govern: cf. F.
A form of government in which the supreme power is placed in
the hands of a few persons; also, those who form the ruling
All oligarchies, wherein a few men domineer, do what
they list. --Burton.