the·​oc·​ra·​cy | \ thē-ˈä-krə-sē How to pronounce theocracy (audio) \
plural theocracies

Definition of theocracy

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

Examples of theocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, rather than construing Lemoine’s position as aberrant (and a sinister product of engineers’ faith in computational theocracy), or just ignoring him (as one might a religious zealot), many observers have taken his claim seriously. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 14 June 2022 Many Afghan Shiites cast doubt over the date — a day before Saudi Arabia and two days before Iran, a Shiite theocracy. New York Times, 8 May 2022 Suffice it to say that the overwhelmingly white professional-class women who don these costumes don’t inhabit a country on the verge of becoming a theocracy or even a patriarchy, but an oligarchy—the harms of which they’ll be relatively spared from. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 5 May 2022 The series, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, imagines a repressive theocracy that has overthrown the United States and forced women into regimented roles, including Handmaids, who are ceremonially raped and impregnated by their Commanders. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 As surely as détente prolonged the life of the Soviet Union, the West’s addiction to arms control is the theocracy’s own form of salvation. Reuel Marc Gerecht, National Review, 31 Mar. 2022 But Ireland, in O’Toole’s telling, was in crisis, more of a fragile agrarian theocracy than a modern democratic republic. James Wood, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 The only humans this deep in the park are the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which controls the right bank of the river and has, since 1987, been attempting to replace the Ugandan government with a strict Christian theocracy. Grayson Schaffer, Outside Online, 7 Feb. 2011 Now, the Taliban are re-establishing an Islamic theocracy and Shaista dreams mostly of escaping it. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, 24 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theocracy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of theocracy

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for theocracy

Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy

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The first known use of theocracy was in 1622

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Last Updated

18 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Theocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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