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 The Taliban has rejected such demands and is expected to announce a new government that appears modeled after Iran’s theocracy, with top Taliban religious and military leaders in key positions. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 The highly conservative theocracy has a long history of repressing women and girls. al, 23 Aug. 2021 Iran's theocracy since its 1979 Islamic Revolution has based its legitimacy in part on turnout in elections. Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, 25 May 2021 The Taliban defeated most of those warlords and brought law and order at the cost of also imposing a draconian theocracy. Peter Bergen, CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 The video corresponded to other Associated Press reporting of the demonstrations in Khuzestan, home to ethnic Arabs who complain of discrimination by Iran's Shiite theocracy. Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 The province is home to ethnic Arabs who complain of discrimination by Iran's Shiite theocracy. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 17 July 2021 President Biden appears unprepared to unleash the U.S. Air Force, and the administration can’t plausibly argue that opening up more trade hurts the theocracy’s aggressive, Islamist ambitions. Reuel Marc Gerecht And Ray Takeyh, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2021 The basis of my 10-year sentence was nothing more than a refusal to submit to the Islamic theocracy or disavow affiliation with the organization. Mahmoud Royaei, CNN, 4 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for theocracy

Time Traveler

The first known use of theocracy was in 1622

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theocracy Encyclopedia article about theocracy


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