democracy

[dih-mok-ruh-see]
See more synonyms for democracy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural de·moc·ra·cies.
  1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
  2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
  3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
  4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
  5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

Origin of democracy

1525–35; < Middle French démocratie < Late Latin dēmocratia < Greek dēmokratía popular government, equivalent to dēmo- demo- + -kratia -cracy
Related formsan·ti·de·moc·ra·cy, noun, plural an·ti·de·moc·ra·cies, adjectivenon·de·moc·ra·cy, noun, plural non·de·moc·ra·cies.pre·de·moc·ra·cy, noun, plural pre·de·moc·ra·cies.pro·de·moc·ra·cy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for democracy

Contemporary Examples of democracy

Historical Examples of democracy


British Dictionary definitions for democracy

democracy

noun plural -cies
  1. government by the people or their elected representatives
  2. a political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members
  3. the practice or spirit of social equality
  4. a social condition of classlessness and equality
  5. the common people, esp as a political force

Word Origin for democracy

C16: from French démocratie, from Late Latin dēmocratia, from Greek dēmokratia government by the people; see demo-, -cracy
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

Word Origin and History for democracy
n.

1570s, from Middle French démocratie (14c.), from Medieval Latin democratia (13c.), from Greek demokratia "popular government," from demos "common people," originally "district" (see demotic), + kratos "rule, strength" (see -cracy).

Democracy implies that the man must take the responsibility for choosing his rulers and representatives, and for the maintenance of his own 'rights' against the possible and probable encroachments of the government which he has sanctioned to act for him in public matters. [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Economics," 1933]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

democracy in Culture

democracy

A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.

Note

Democratic institutions, such as parliaments, may exist in a monarchy. Such constitutional monarchies as Britain, Canada, and Sweden are generally counted as democracies in practice.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.