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word-forming element forming nouns meaning "rule or government by," from French -cratie or directly from Medieval Latin -cratia, from Greek -kratia "power, might; rule, sway; power over; a power, authority," from kratos "strength," from PIE *kratus "power, strength" (see hard). The connective -o- has come to be viewed as part of it. Productive in English from c.1800.