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"government by the rabble," 1580s, from French ochlocratie (1560s), from Greek okhlokratia (Polybius) "mob rule," the lowest grade of democracy, from kratos "rule, power, strength" (see -cracy) + okhlos "mob, populace," perhaps literally "moving mass," from PIE *wogh-lo-, from root *wegh- "to go, transport" in a vehicle (see weigh). For sense development, cf. mob (n.). Related: Ochlocratic; ochlocratical. Greek also had okhlagogos "mob-leader, ochlagogue."