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Definition of Gerontocracy

(noun) A social organization, typically an oligarchy, in which the oldest members have the most power, prestige, and wealth.

Example of Gerontocracy

Gerontocracy Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: ger·on·toc·ra·cy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /jair-uhn-tAHk-ruh-see/
  • British English – /je-ron-tOk-ruh-see/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˌdʒɛrənˈtɑkrəsi/
  • British English – /ˌdʒɛrn̩ˈtɒkrəsi/

Usage Note

  • Plural: gerontocracies

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Gerontocracy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “gerontocracy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/gerontocracy/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

gerontocracy. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/gerontocracy/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “gerontocracy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/gerontocracy/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“gerontocracy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/gerontocracy/>.