Definition of democracy in English:


Line breaks: dem|oc¦racy
Pronunciation: /dɪˈmɒkrəsi

noun (plural democracies)

[mass noun]
  • 1A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives: a system of parliamentary democracy
    More example sentences
    • The British system of representative democracy has always abhorred referendums on moral issues.
    • People asserted themselves to save democracy and the parliamentary system was restored.
    • This is their chance to breathe new life into our system of Parliamentary democracy.
    representative government, elective government, constitutional government, popular government; self-government, government by the people, autonomy; republic, commonwealth
  • 1.1 [count noun] A state governed under a system of democracy: a multiparty democracy
    More example sentences
    • So will our government work with other democracies to dismantle the tax havens?
    • The House of Commons sits for more days and more hours than any other legislature in the large democracies.
    • There can be and have been intolerant democracies and reasonably tolerant autocracies.
  • 1.2Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members: the intended extension of industrial democracy
    More example sentences
    • Most importantly, he argues, it lacked any real expansion of democracy or workers' control.
    • Indeed their rulers have tried to eliminate those who stood for genuine workers' control and democracy.
    • Even more important to the majority rule of democracy is how well we safeguard more vulnerable minorities.
  • 1.3The practice or principles of social equality: demands for greater democracy
    More example sentences
    • They believed it would uphold the principles of democracy and social equality.
    • Real democracy demands social equality rather than merely the right to vote.
    • Under such conditions, democracy, equality and political rights stood no chance.


late 16th century: from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos 'the people' + -kratia 'power, rule'.

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