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democracy

[dih-mok-ruh-see] /dɪˈmɒk rə si/
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
1525-1535
1525-35; < Middle French démocratie < Late Latin dēmocratia < Greek dēmokratía popular government, equivalent to dēmo- demo- + -kratia -cracy
Related forms
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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British Dictionary definitions for prodemocracy

democracy

/dɪˈmɒkrəsɪ/
noun (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
Word Origin
C16: from French démocratie, from Late Latin dēmocratia, from Greek dēmokratia government by the people; see demo-, -cracy
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
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Word Origin and History for prodemocracy
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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prodemocracy in Culture

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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