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Kakistocracy is a word that is several hundred years old, but has recently seen an upsurge in popularity. We will examine the definition of the word kakistocracy, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Kakistocracy is a noun that signifies a government or country that is run by incompetent people or people who have the least qualifications or abilities to run the government. A kakistocracy is  is powered by the worst element of the populace. The word kakistocracy was first used by Paul Gosnold in his seventeenth century work A Sermon Preached at the Publique Fast the ninth day of Aug. 1644 at St Maries. The word was resurrected by the author Thomas Love Peacock in his 1829 novel The Misfortunes of Elphin. Kakistocracy was coined as an antonym of the word aristocracy, from the Greek word kakistos meaning worst and the suffix -cracy which forms words having to do with the rule of a government. The plural form of kakistocracy is kakistocracies.


Of the many destructive features of our kakistocracy, one of the most disturbing is the continuing failure of progressivism to help the very constituencies (the young, the poor, and minorities) whom it claims to serve. (Forbes Magazine)

Our kakistocracy (a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens) is the script for many SNL episodes, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday feed our consumer-addicted society. (The Boulder Daily Camera)

In addition, because there was no mechanism for transfer of power and the powerful were forever frightened of losing it, the country became a gerontocracy, but also something else too: a kakistocracy. (The New York Review of Books)