The highest class in certain societies, especially those holding hereditary titles or offices. Can be a form of Government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class or an individual and, when used to rule, can be seen in direct contrast with a democracy. The term derives from the Greek aristocrat meaning “rule of the best” which, at the time of it’s origins simply meant the best qualified citizens rather than a Monarchy type position in which a country is ruled by a monarch who is the hereditary chief of state for their life’s tenure and has powers varying from nominal to absolute.