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 Iranians go to the polls to elect their legislators, in a vote seen as a test of the moderate bloc led President Hassan Rouhani and the country's Shia theocracy. Michelle Krupa, CNN, "Start your Monday smart: Presidents Day, Robert Durst, Roger Stone, Nevada caucuses, Daytona 500," 16 Feb. 2020 Trump is happy for Turkey and Russia to assert themselves in Syria and stabilize it, avoiding militant Islamic theocracy, humanitarian disasters, and threats to Israel. Conrad Black, National Review, "Soleimani Killing: A Change for the Better?," 15 Jan. 2020 Other pieces took readers into a decaying union resort in Michigan, a former fundamentalist Mormon theocracy in the south-west and to the top of a small radio station in remote Alaska. The Economist, "Plot twists 2019 in review: United States," 20 Dec. 2019 The remarks represent the latest swing in the response by Iran’s Shi’ite theocracy to the protests, which has seen officials either downplay or demonize demonstrators., "Iran says protesters attacked hundreds of banks, blaming US - The Boston Globe," 28 Nov. 2019 Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution also saw Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who acknowledged Israel, replaced by a Shiite theocracy that views the state of Israel as an enemy, with tens of thousands of Jews fleeing. Washington Post, "Secret synagogue in Dubai prays for Persian Gulf revival," 25 Oct. 2019 If unchecked, American economic pressure could eventually lead to a popular rebellion that would topple the theocracy. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Iran’s Options in a Showdown with America Are All Bad," 9 Jan. 2020 The remarks represent the latest swing in the response by Iran’s Shiite theocracy to the protests, which has seen officials either downplay or demonize demonstrators. Jon Gambrell, The Denver Post, "Iran says protesters attacked hundreds of banks, blaming U.S.," 27 Nov. 2019 Secular parties accused Orthodox parties of wanting to establish a theocracy in Israel. Ben Sales,, "Most Israelis want Orthodox parties out of government, survey says," 26 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for theocracy

Last Updated

27 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Theocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce theocracy (audio)

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theocracy

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

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