noun \thē-ˈä-krə-sē\

: a form of government in which a country is ruled by religious leaders

: a country that is ruled by religious leaders

plural the·oc·ra·cies

Full Definition of THEOCRACY

:  government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided
:  a state governed by a theocracy


Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy
First Known Use: 1622

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. In many theocracies, government leaders are members of the clergy, and the state's legal system is based on religious law. Theocratic rule was typical of early civilizations. The Enlightenment marked the end of theocracy in most Western countries. Contemporary examples of theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Vatican. See also church and state; divine kingship.


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