• synonyms


[hahy-uh-rok-ruh-see, hahy-rok-]
noun, plural hi·er·oc·ra·cies.
  1. rule or government by priests or ecclesiastics.
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Origin of hierocracy

First recorded in 1785–95; hiero- + -cracy
Related formshi·er·o·crat·ic [hahy-er-uh-krat-ik, hahy-ruh-] /ˌhaɪ ər əˈkræt ɪk, ˌhaɪ rə-/, hi·er·o·crat·i·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hierocracy

Historical Examples of hierocracy

  • The form of government is far nearer a democracy than a hierocracy.

    The Expositor's Bible:The Book of Numbers

    Robert A. Watson

  • When a hierocracy has been firmly established its evolution always follows similar lines.

    Tales of Bengal

    S. B. Banerjea

  • And indeed this is the fatal result of every theocracy, for it can never really be anything but a hierocracy or rule of priests.

  • He met the inevitable demand of the hierocracy, "By what authority doest thou these things?"

British Dictionary definitions for hierocracy


noun plural -cies
  1. government by priests or ecclesiastics
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Derived Formshierocratic (ˌhaɪərəˈkrætɪk) or hierocratical, adjective
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 hierocracy


"rule or government by priests," 1794; see hierarchy + -cracy. Related: Hierocratic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper