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 three-day-long engagement was chaired by Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada, a religious scholar who is widely expected to become the country’s supreme leader, suggesting the new government could be structured much like Iran’s theocracy. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 That led to widespread apathy among eligible voters in the Islamic Republic, which long has held up turnout as a sign of support for the theocracy since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Jon Gambrell, ajc, 19 June 2021 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

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

3 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theocracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 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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