the·​oc·​ra·​cy thē-ˈä-krə-sē How to pronounce theocracy (audio)
plural theocracies
: government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided
: a state governed by a theocracy

Examples of theocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And Gush Emunim’s numinous views have morphed into something arguably darker than mere theocracy—views comprehensively documented by Yair Nehorai, a civil-rights attorney, in his 2022 book The Third Revolution (available only in Hebrew). Jordan Castro, Harper's Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 But this ignores a fundamental motivation of Iran’s theocracy: anti-Semitism. Reuel Marc Gerecht, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2023 Too many outside influences and IMHO and Democracy in a theocracy cannot last. Meg Kelly, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 The season’s core conflict stems from the polarization of a country that aspires to democracy despite a quarter of the population that insists on living in a theocracy. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Nov. 2023 Recommended The demonstrations over Ms. Amini’s death that erupted after her arrest a year ago by the country’s morality police, allegedly over the hijab, represented one of the largest challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Sep. 2023 Mongolia, after winning independence from Qing China in 1911, began those early decades of the 20th century as a feudal theocracy with a godlike figure, akin to the Dalai Lama, called the Bogd Khan at its helm, overseeing around 80,000 monks. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 The conservative legal movement does not want a theocracy. Charles McCrary, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 Despite the theocracy’s crucial role in driving Islamic sectarianism, its aspirations to be a vanguard for all Muslims still define Iran’s self-image. Reuel Marc Gerecht, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'theocracy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy

First Known Use

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of theocracy was in 1622

Dictionary Entries Near theocracy

Cite this Entry

“Theocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


the·​oc·​ra·​cy thē-ˈäk-rə-sē How to pronounce theocracy (audio)
plural theocracies
: government of a country by officials believed to have divine guidance
: a country governed by a theocracy

More from Merriam-Webster on theocracy

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