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[thee-ok-ruh-see] /θiˈɒk rə si/
noun, plural theocracies.
a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God's or deity's laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.
a system of government by priests claiming a divine commission.
a commonwealth or state under such a form or system of government.
Origin of theocracy
From the Greek word theokratía, dating back to 1615-25. See theo-, -cracy
Related forms
[thee-uh-krat-ik] /ˌθi əˈkræt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
theocratical, adjective
theocratically, adverb
nontheocratic, adjective
nontheocratical, adjective
nontheocratically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for theocratic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As long as they hold this theocratic idea, to force democratic government upon them, is a farce.

  • Announce the sublime and solacing doctrine of theocratic equality.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • Two theocratic bodies that failed to reach the full church form are Islam and the Peruvian cult of the sun.

  • Religious representations are much rarer than in theocratic Egypt.

    History of Ancient Art Franz von Reber
  • The wisdom of the theocratic government of ancient Egypt was most admirable, and not founded upon mortal affections and dislikes.

    Curiosities of Medical Experience J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen
British Dictionary definitions for theocratic


noun (pl) -cies
government by a deity or by a priesthood
a community or political unit under such government
Derived Forms
theocrat, noun
theocratic, theocratical, adjective
theocratically, adverb
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 theocratic



1620s, "sacerdotal government under divine inspiration" (as that of Israel before the rise of kings), from Greek theokratia "the rule of God" (Josephus), from theos "god" (see Thea) + kratos "a rule, regime, strength" (see -cracy). Meaning "priestly or religious body wielding political and civil power" is recorded from 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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theocratic in Culture
theocracy [(thee-ok-ruh-see)]

A nation or state in which the clergy exercise political power and in which religious law is dominant over civil law. Iran led by the Ayatollah Khomeini was a theocracy under the Islamic clergy. (See Islam.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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