Kleptocracy (noun)

  1. A system of government characterized by widespread corruption, theft of state resources, and abuse of power by those in control.
  2. A form of government in which those in power use their positions to steal state resources for their own benefit.


Derived from the greek words "kleptes," meaning "thief," and "kratos," meaning "power," it is a 20th century word.


  1. The country was ruled by a kleptocracy, with the president and his allies embezzling millions of dollars in public funds.
  2. The people of the country lived in poverty while the kleptocrats enjoyed a life of luxury.
  3. The opposition claimed that the government was a kleptocracy, and demanded reforms.
  4. The kleptocrats were eventually brought to justice and the country was put on a path towards democracy.
  5. The international community is increasingly concerned about the rise of kleptocracies in developing countries.
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