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n. (context business sometimes pejorative English) A large, family-controlled Korean business conglomerate.


A chaebol (, ; from chae "wealth or property" + bol "faction or clan" – also written with the same Chinese characters 財閥 as Zaibatsu) is a South Korean form of business conglomerate. They are typically global multinationals and own numerous international enterprises, controlled by a chairman with power over all the operations. The term is often used in a context similar to that of the English word " conglomerate". The term was first used in 1984. There are several dozen large Korean family-controlled corporate groups which fall under this definition.

The chaebol have also played a significant role in South Korean politics. In 1988, a member of a chaebol family, Chung Mong-joon, president of Hyundai Heavy Industries, successfully ran for the National Assembly of South Korea. Other business leaders also were chosen to be members of the National Assembly through proportional representation. Since 2000, Hyundai has played a role in the thawing of North Korean and South Korean relations.

Usage examples of "chaebol".

Cotes des Neiges, and then climbed the ramp to the modem elevated highway that ran along the top of Beliveau Heights, with the towers and spires of the Chaebol city around the spaceport looming ahead.

Penal Logging Settlement, up in the tundra, working to feed the Chaebol sawmills.

Spacetown they were heading due north on the truck route to the Chaebol Warehouse Section in North Beliveau.

The duty sergeant could not be sure that whatever was going on was not some Chaebol outrage.

He could get his sentence reduced, but he'd have to serve in the Penal Logging Settlement, up in the tundra, working to feed the Chaebol sawmills.