theocracy

noun
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

Now, with the US decision to pull out of the JCPOA, the multinational nuclear deal signed by Iran in 2015, Tehran again faces tightening sanctions, a crumbling economy, and a weakening of its ruling theocracy's grip on power. Nic Robertson, CNN, "With Iran, sometimes the logical explanation is the correct one," 14 June 2019 Reza Pahlavi failed in Iran but was succeeded by a theocracy in a still-backward Iranian society. Azar Gat, WSJ, "The ‘Modernizing Dictator’ Is No Myth," 13 Nov. 2018 Two-thirds of the people in Iran want a democracy without a theocracy. Fox News, "Rep. Ed Royce on US relations with Russia, Turkey and Iran; Rep. Devin Nunes on Bruce Ohr and the push to declassify DOJ documents," 12 Aug. 2018 Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel was inspired by the 1979 revolution in Iran, and the formerly progressive country’s swift transformation into a religious theocracy. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's Handmaid's Tale Party Sends a Terrifying Message," 12 June 2019 But limits still clearly exist in Iran's Shiite theocracy, ensnaring lawyers, activists and others in lengthy prison terms handed down in closed-door trials. Jon Gambrell, Fox News, "Iran's politicians under pressure, 40 years after revolution," 24 Sep. 2018 It has been used to argue for theocracy and unquestioned obedience to law even in the fact of oppression. Laura Nasrallah, Washington Post, "What Jeff Sessions got wrong when quoting the Bible," 15 June 2018 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

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

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for theocracy

The first known use of theocracy was in 1622

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More Definitions for theocracy

theocracy

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about theocracy

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