[ thee-ok-ruh-see ]
/ θiˈɒk rə si /

noun, plural the·oc·ra·cies.

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.

Nearby words

  1. theobromine,
  2. theocentric,
  3. theocentricity,
  4. theoclymenus,
  5. theocon,
  6. theocrasy,
  7. theocrat,
  8. theocratic,
  9. theocritus,
  10. theodicy

Origin of theocracy

From the Greek word theokratía, dating back to 1615–25. See theo-, -cracy

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for theocracy

British Dictionary definitions for theocracy


/ (θɪˈɒkrəsɪ) /

noun plural -cies

government by a deity or by a priesthood
a community or political unit under such government
Derived Formstheocrat, nountheocratic or theocratical, adjectivetheocratically, 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

Word Origin and History for theocracy



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

Culture definitions for 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 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.