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[thee-ok-ruh-see] /θiˈɒk rə si/
noun, plural theocracies.
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.
1615-25; < Greek theokratía. See theo-, -cracy
Related forms
[thee-uh-krat-ik] /ˌθi əˈkræt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
theocratical, adjective
theocratically, adverb
nontheocratic, adjective
nontheocratical, adjective
nontheocratically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for theocratic
  • Their theocratic buddies have gotten out ahead of them.
  • Plus he's crushed his own people's attempts at getting their freedom from his brutal theocratic dictatorship.
  • They want nothing less that a theocratic dictatorship and will not rest until they get it.
  • This, in turn, weakened the control and authority of the secular or theocratic elite.
  • Recognizable operative political modes: anarchist, communist, or theocratic.
British Dictionary definitions for theocratic


noun (pl) -cies
government by a deity or by a priesthood
a community or political unit under such government
Derived Forms
theocrat, noun
theocratic, theocratical, adjective
theocratically, 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
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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
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theocratic in Culture
theocracy [(thee-ok-ruh-see)]

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 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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theocratic in the Bible

a word first used by Josephus to denote that the Jews were under the direct government of God himself. The nation was in all things subject to the will of their invisible King. All the people were the servants of Jehovah, who ruled over their public and private affairs, communicating to them his will through the medium of the prophets. They were the subjects of a heavenly, not of an earthly, king. They were Jehovah's own subjects, ruled directly by him (comp. 1 Sam. 8:6-9).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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