Meaning of gerontocracy in English:


Pronunciation /ˌdʒɛrənˈtɒkrəsi/


  • 1A state, society, or group governed by old people.

    ‘It's no surprise that American media organizations are gerontocracies.’
    • ‘Some of your friends are amazed when you say this, but you reason that a gerontocracy can fashion the future for just so long.’
    • ‘The author was, of course, the first to depict a totalitarian gerontocracy.’
    • ‘This society is a gerontocracy based on obedience to and respect for those who are older than oneself.’
    • ‘The current Court is nothing less than a gerontocracy.’
    • ‘Workers will resent handing over their entire paycheques to fund the gerontocracy and then have to suffer through fogeyish easy listening classics on every radio station.’
    • ‘In the gerontocracy that was early America, the Puritans held that living to a ripe old age was a sign from above.’
    • ‘You quickly begin to feel that the country is the opposite of Britain: where we're obsessed by the youth of our leaders, Italy is determined to remain a gerontocracy.’
    • ‘It is easy to depict them as a complacent gerontocracy immured in its certainties and unwilling to rethink the future.’
    • ‘If such longtime supporters abandoned ship, surely the gerontocracy in Hanoi was out of touch.’
    • ‘This person could have represented our interests in the raving gerontocracy that is the city government.’
    • ‘This country's gerontocracy is not so much kinder and gentler as paralytic.’
    • ‘The retirement of this gerontocracy led to the so-called fifth generation of leaders now in charge of the Party and the country.’
    • ‘In contrast to India's gerontocracy, there is a worldwide trend for having young leaders.’
    • ‘If he succeeds, it would spell the end of the narrow-based gerontocracy that has dominated French political life for the last generation and could usher in real change.’
    1. 1.1mass noun Government based on rule by old people.
      ‘We have to admit that stubborn gerontocracy has been a major obstacle to reforming politics due to the aged politicians' obstinacy and narrow-mindedness.’
      • ‘The old nobility dominated the officer corps and, since there was no retirement system, gerontocracy prevailed: seniority counted for everything.’
      • ‘This has been referred to as gerontocracy, but it may be preferable to see it as an expression of a link with past generations.’


Mid 19th century from Greek gerōn, geront- ‘old man’ + -cracy.