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noun de·moc·ra·cy \di-ˈmä-krə-sē\

Simple Definition of democracy

  • : a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting

  • : a country ruled by democracy

  • : an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights

Full Definition of democracy

plural de·moc·ra·cies

  1. 1 a :  government by the people; especially :  rule of the majority b :  a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

  2. 2 :  a political unit that has a democratic government

  3. 3 capitalized :  the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the United States <from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy — C. M. Roberts>

  4. 4 :  the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority

  5. 5 :  the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

Examples of democracy

  1. Democracy, I would repeat, is the noblest form of government we have yet evolved … —Norman Mailer, New York Review of Books, 27 Mar. 2002

  2. … this and the economic failures of faithful democracies in places such as India or the Anglophone Caribbean demonstrated conclusively that there was no inherent link between freedom and capitalism … —Orlando Patterson, New Republic, 8 Nov. 1999

  3. Even in democracies today, crucial knowledge is available to only a few individuals … —Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 1997

  4. The nation has chosen democracy over monarchy.

  5. In a democracy, every citizen should have the right to vote.

  6. The company is not a democracy; decisions are made by a board of directors, not the workers.

  7. There is democracy within the company.

Origin of democracy

Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos + -kratia -cracy

First Known Use: 1576

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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