republic

play
noun re·pub·lic \ri-ˈpə-blik\

Definition of republic

  1. 1 a (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 (as a nation) having such a form of government b (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 (as a nation) having such a form of government c :  a usually specified republican government of a political unit <the French Fourth Republic>

  2. 2 :  a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity <the republic of letters>

  3. 3 :  a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Yugoslavia

Examples of republic in a sentence

  1. <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>

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.”

Origin and Etymology of republic

French république, from Middle French republique, from Latin respublica, from res thing, wealth + publica, feminine of publicus public — more at real, public


First Known Use: 1604


REPUBLIC Defined for English Language Learners

republic

play
noun re·pub·lic \ri-ˈpə-blik\

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

republic

play
noun re·pub·lic \ri-ˈpə-blik\

Definition of republic for Students

  1. :  a country with elected representatives and an elected chief of state who is not a monarch and who is usually a president


Law Dictionary

republic

noun re·pub·lic

Legal Definition of republic

  1. 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. 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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