Wednesday Word for September 16, 2020

Today’s word comes from the news.

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Today’s Word

Part of Speech



  1. A government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed.
  2. A government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal.
  3. A government where officials are politically corrupt and financially self-interested.


This word was first used in 1819, defined as rule by a thief or thieves. From the Greek root klepto-, from kleptein to steal; akin to Goth hlifan to steal, and the Latin clepere.


This word has no known synonyms.


This word has no known antonyms.

Usage and Examples

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Duncan saw the economy collapse as wealth distribution in the kleptocracy shifted toward the billionaire class.
  • Talbot knew that no political parties were immune to the growing infection of kleptocracy in US politics.

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