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a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek (aristocracy; democracy); on this model used, with the meaning “rule,” “government,” “governing body,” to form abstract nouns from stems of other origin:
mobocracy; bureaucracy.
Compare -crat.
Origin of -cracy
< Middle French -cracie (now -cratie) < Late Latin -cratia < Greek -kratia, equivalent to krát(os) rule, strength, might (akin to hard) + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for -cracy


combining form
indicating a type of government or rule: plutocracy, mobocracy See also -crat
Word Origin
from Greek -kratia, from kratos power
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for -cracy

word-forming element forming nouns meaning "rule or government by," from French -cratie or directly from Medieval Latin -cratia, from Greek -kratia "power, might; rule, sway; power over; a power, authority," from kratos "strength," from PIE *kratus "power, strength" (see hard). The connective -o- has come to be viewed as part of it. Productive in English from c.1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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