democracy

[dih-mok-ruh-see]
noun, plural democracies.
1.
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.
2.
a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
3.
a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4.
political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5.
the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

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

antidemocracy, noun, plural antidemocracies, adjective
nondemocracy, noun, plural nondemocracies.
predemocracy, noun, plural predemocracies.
prodemocracy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
democracy (dɪˈmɒkrəsɪ)
 
n , pl -cies
1.  government by the people or their elected representatives
2.  a political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members
3.  the practice or spirit of social equality
4.  a social condition of classlessness and equality
5.  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]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

democracy
1570s, from M.Fr. democratie, from M.L. democratia (13c.), from Gk. demokratia, from demos "common people," originally "district" (see demotic), + kratos "rule, strength" (see -cracy).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

democracy definition


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

Note: 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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Its system of democracy ensures that people have a direct say in the country's
  affairs.
If our country is to be a democracy, as opposed to a corporate state, its
  people must be free.
When you let your intelligence convince people don't know what's best for them
  then you are anti democracy.
If any votes aren't counted, the will of the people is not realized and our
  democracy is diminished.
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