Definition of republic
1a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of governmentb (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of governmentc : a usually specified republican government of a political unit the French Fourth Republic
2 : a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity the republic of letters
3 : a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the U.S.S.R., or Yugoslavia
Examples of republic in a Sentence
when asked by a passerby what sort of government the constitutional convention had formulated for the new nation, Benjamin Franklin memorably replied, “A republic, if you can keep it”
Recent Examples of republic from the Web
Leaders of nondemocratic states have actively promoted their interests abroad but have not subverted young republics or wrecked vibrant democracies.
Genoa established itself as an independent republic in the 12th century.
A court in this former Soviet republic was due to hold a hearing later in the day on whether to sanction the arrest of Afgan Mukhtarli, who is facing charges of smuggling and crossing the border illegally.
In fact, everything in the book is ultimately pitched for the good of the republic.
In recent years, Brzezinski took part in proceedings designed to bring the former Soviet republics into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Montenegro, a nation of 600,000 people, is set to become NATO’s 29th member on June 5, the third former Yugoslav republic to join the alliance after Slovenia and Croatia.
The small former Yugoslav republic is slated to become NATO's 29th member next month.
As a final reverberation to the death knell of the Soviet Union, the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia has released a commemorative stamp that brings to mind an old Firesign Theatre album cover.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'republic'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Is the United States a democracy or a republic?
One of the most commonly encountered questions about the word democracy has nothing to do with its spelling or pronunciation, and isn’t even directly related to the meaning of the word itself. That question is “is the United States a democracy or a republic?” The answer to this, as with so many other questions about meaning, may be phrased as some form of “it depends.”
Some people believe that a country calling itself a democracy must be engaged in direct (or pure) democracy, in which the people of a state or region vote directly for policies, rather than elect representatives who make choices on their behalf. People who follow this line of reasoning hold that the United States is more properly described as a republic, using the following definition of that word: ”a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.”
However, both democracy and republic have more than a single meaning, and one of the definitions we provide for democracy closely resembles the definition of republic given above: “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.”
So if someone asks you if the United States is a democracy or a republic, you may safely answer the question with either “both” or “it depends.”
REPUBLIC Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of republic for English Language Learners
: a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen
REPUBLIC Defined for Kids
Definition of republic for Students
: a country with elected representatives and an elected chief of state who is not a monarch and who is usually a president
Legal Definition of republic
1 : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president; also : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
2 : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law; also : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
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