Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Government based on rule by elders.
  • n. A governing group of elders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Government by elders.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Government by old men.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Government by old men.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a political system governed by old men

Etymologies

geronto- + -cracy, from Ancient Greek (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Perhaps because of this, analysts are increasingly inclined to use the word gerontocracy to define our form of government.

    Yoani Sanchez: The Younger Generation is Coming Like a Whirlwind to Dismantle Everything

  • Democracy has no love for the old; and it is interesting to note that the word gerontocracy to which the ancients attached the most honourable meaning is now only a term of ridicule, and is applied only to a government which, because it is in the hands of old men, is therefore grotesque.

    The Cult of Incompetence

  • The word gerontocracy has appeared in four New York Times articles in the past year, including on Nov. 22 in "Saudi King Is Heading to U.S. for Medical Care," by Reuters:

    NYT > Home Page

  • The Turks believe that the era of political dinosaurs is gone and want to end what it refers to as 'gerontocracy' that has held the political reins of power since independence.

    Thisday Online

  • Such a towering figure is indeed a threat to the Beijing gerontocracy, as much as Andrei Sakharov was in denouncing the Soviet Union from 1968 and inspiring the Helsinki process as we grew up.

    End the Silence on Ai Weiwei

  •  As a result, many Cubans -- especially the younger generation beaten down by decades of repression, deprived of inspiring contact with the outside world and denied broad access to the tools of communication are left waiting for the end of a gerontocracy.â¨â¨

    Christopher Sabatini: A Middle East-Like Revolution in Cuba? Don't Hold Your Breath

  • As a result, many Cubans -- especially the younger generation beaten down by decades of repression, deprived of inspiring contact with the outside world and denied broad access to the tools of communication are left waiting for the end of a gerontocracy.

    Christopher Sabatini: A Middle East-Like Revolution in Cuba? Don't Hold Your Breath

  • After the stiff and doddery gerontocracy of the Brezhnev years, here was a new man—confident, vigorous, comfortable speaking without notes.

    Zero-Sum Future

  • At age 41, Alfano is young by the standards of Italy's gerontocracy of career politicians.

    Berlusconi's replacement as Italy's PM: will it be the fixer or the technocrat?

  • Will people who have been holding their positions for a dozen years be able to open access for others, or will we reproduce the Brezhnev model of gerontocracy?

    Why Are They Leaving?

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