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democracy

[ dih-mok-ruh-see ]
/ dɪˈmɒk rə si /
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noun, plural de·moc·ra·cies.

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.
a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
political or social equality; democratic spirit.
the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

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Origin of democracy

1525–35; <Middle French démocratie<Late Latin dēmocratia<Greek dēmokratía popular government, equivalent to dēmo-demo- + -kratia-cracy
an·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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for democracy

democracy
/ (dɪˈmɒkrəsɪ) /

noun plural -cies

government by the people or their elected representatives
a political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members
the practice or spirit of social equality
a social condition of classlessness and equality
the common people, esp as a political force
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

Cultural definitions for democracy

democracy

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

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.
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