Pronunciation: (ar"u-stok'ru-sē), [key]
1. a class of persons holding exceptional rank and privileges, esp. the hereditary nobility.
2. a government or state ruled by an aristocracy, elite, or privileged upper class.
3. government by those considered to be the best or most able people in the state.
4. a governing body composed of those considered to be the best or most able people in the state.
5. any class or group considered to be superior, as through education, ability, wealth, or social prestige.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.