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.

Origin of theocracy

From the Greek word theokratía, dating back to 1615–25. See theo-, -cracy
Related formsthe·o·crat·ic [thee-uh-krat-ik] /ˌθi əˈkræt ɪk/, the·o·crat·i·cal, adjectivethe·o·crat·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·the·o·crat·ic, adjectivenon·the·o·crat·i·cal, adjectivenon·the·o·crat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for theocratic

Contemporary Examples of theocratic

Historical Examples of theocratic

  • Announce the sublime and solacing doctrine of theocratic equality.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • This isolation marked him with a kind of theocratic distinction.

  • Its theories of society are theocratic and do not meet the actual facts and problems.


    William Graham Sumner

  • Religious representations are much rarer than in theocratic Egypt.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

  • There are but two ways in which this theocratic despotism can be met and overthrown.

British Dictionary definitions for theocratic


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 theocratic



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 theocratic



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.