Definition of republic in English:



  • 1A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

    • ‘In 1797, Tom Paine argued that all new democratic republics, including France and the United States, should guarantee every 21-year old citizen a wealth stake.’
    • ‘The threat was no longer from aristocratic conspirators who wanted a republic or a Stuart restoration; rather, the governing elite, which was numerically quite small, faced the prospect of a mass democracy.’
    • ‘It left slavery untouched until the Civil War but it put in place a representative republic with basic rights for its citizens.’
    • ‘The figure of Justice as a symbol of the chief virtue of the Venetian republic, or as a representation of the republic itself, also goes back at least to the trecento.’
    • ‘Indeed, by 1992 the Soviet Union itself had disappeared with its former republics declaring their independence, but loosely realigned in the Commonwealth of Independent States.’
    • ‘But as the birth of the American republic so brilliantly demonstrates, the taxing power of the government is far from being unlimited.’
    • ‘It's at political moments like this that we, the citizens of a republic, should remember how important our written constitution is in determining our inalienable rights.’
    • ‘Within Yugoslavian republics, colonial rule consisted of the centralized power of Serbia, while for Serbia, colonial rule consisted of the concept of the Federation itself with its manifold restrictions.’
    • ‘It is an evil inevitably attendant on the dominion of sovereign democratic republics.’
    • ‘The Law Society of Namibia said this week that every citizen and resident in Namibia has the duty to respect the constitution, the offices representing the independent republic and the organs of the state.’
    • ‘That happened because the United States is a federal republic, not a democracy.’
    • ‘Madison and the other Founders attempted to forestall democracy by devising a republic, the hallmark of which was the preservation of individual liberty.’
    • ‘To recognize the rights of various nations the Soviets endorsed policies aimed at establishing independent republics for each nationality within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.’
    • ‘In 1948 Czechoslovakia became a socialist republic, and from 1968 it was a federation of two states.’
    • ‘Federalists seized on the concept of an extensive republic in essays, public letters, and private correspondence.’
    • ‘America is a federal republic, with horizontal separation of powers among executive, legislature, and judiciary, and vertical separation of powers between the central government and the states.’
    • ‘Fifty years of civil war, a republic led by Oliver Cromwell, and the restoration of the monarchy.’
    • ‘And as already mentioned, the reformers in Russia and some other former Soviet republics sought to reverse the decentralizing reforms of Gorbachev's perestroika.’
    • ‘That was a nice long discussion, comparing monarchies, democracies, republics, oligarchies, and all the different systems of government there were.’
    • ‘When Singapore became an independent republic, much of the land was held tinder Crown leases that were about to expire.’
    1. 1.1archaic A group with a certain equality between its members.
      ‘the community of scholars and the republic of learning’


Late 16th century: from French république, from Latin respublica, from res ‘entity, concern’ + publicus ‘of the people, public’.