[ ok-lok-ruh-see ]
/ ɒkˈlɒk rə si /


government by the mob; mob rule; mobocracy.


Origin of ochlocracy

1475–85; < Greek ochlokratía, equivalent to óchl(os) mob + -o- -o- + -kratia -cracy
Related formsoch·lo·crat [ok-luh-krat] /ˈɒk ləˌkræt/, nounoch·lo·crat·ic, och·lo·crat·i·cal, adjectiveoch·lo·crat·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for ochlocracy


/ (ɒkˈlɒkrəsɪ) /

noun plural -cies

rule by the mob; mobocracy
Derived Formsochlocrat (ˈɒkləˌkræt), nounochlocratic (ˌɒkləˈkrætɪk), adjective

Word Origin for ochlocracy

C16: via French, from Greek okhlokratia, from okhlos mob + 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

Word Origin and History for ochlocracy



"government by the rabble," 1580s, from French ochlocratie (1560s), from Greek okhlokratia (Polybius) "mob rule," the lowest grade of democracy, from kratos "rule, power, strength" (see -cracy) + okhlos "mob, populace," perhaps literally "moving mass," from PIE *wogh-lo-, from root *wegh- "to go, transport" in a vehicle (see weigh). For sense development, cf. mob (n.). Related: Ochlocratic; ochlocratical. Greek also had okhlagogos "mob-leader, ochlagogue."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper