the·​oc·​ra·​cy | \ thē-ˈä-krə-sē \
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

But a nuclear-armed Iranian theocracy is no laughing matter. Winston Groom, WSJ, "Unsavory Allies, From Stalin to the Saudis," 4 Dec. 2018 But just for uttering these words, one writer at the Detroit Metro Times has accused James of seeking a Handmaid's Tale style theocracy. Fox News, "New evidence of political bias at Google; gender politics at play in Michigan Senate race," 21 Sep. 2018 Rouhani's growing political weakness has been a boon to hard-liners within Iran's Shiite theocracy. Nasser Karimi, Fox News, "Iran president fails to appease lawmakers in economic crisis," 28 Aug. 2018 For now, Iran remains governed by President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate with Iran’s theocracy whose administration brokered the deal. Washington Post, "AP Explains: Iran reopens uranium plant in its latest gamble," 28 June 2018 Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, a relatively moderate cleric within the theocracy, always supported a diplomatic solution to end the state of war on the Korean Peninsula. Nasser Karimi, Fox News, "Iran, spurned by US, angrily watches Trump-North Korea talks," 10 June 2018 Iraqi Shiites have historically resisted Iran’s efforts to export its theocracy to Iraq and are likely to do so in the near future, no matter how much Iran invests its resources into the holy shrine cities. Ranj Alaaldin, Washington Post, "What Iraq’s election means for its Shiite militias," 12 May 2018 In its 40th year, Iran’s theocracy looks in poor health. The Economist, "Iran’s anaemic economy is pushing people over the edge," 28 June 2018 Some might argue that memes have no role in the Iranian theocracy. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "Middle East diplomacy is being done via GIF now: How it’s come to this," 5 June 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for theocracy

Last Updated

2 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for theocracy

The first known use of theocracy was in 1622

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English Language Learners Definition of theocracy

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

: a country that is ruled by religious leaders

More from Merriam-Webster on theocracy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with theocracy Encyclopedia article about theocracy

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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