Definition of theocracy in English:



  • 1A system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.

    ‘his ambition is to lead a worldwide theocracy’
    mass noun ‘it is a society just emerging from theocracy’
    • ‘This is the fundamental difference between kingdoms, theocracies, feudal states, and a democratic republic.’
    • ‘The real argument for war was the neocon contention that the Middle East is an economic backwater ruled by medieval theocracies that has become a breeding ground for high stakes terrorism.’
    • ‘The Christian Right and their political minions advocate a total theocracy, plain and simple.’
    • ‘Iran has made the transition in the last twenty years from a nominal constitutional monarchy to a democratic theocracy.’
    • ‘But the speech was most notable for the force with which Yeats pleaded that the Free State should not become a theocracy.’
    • ‘When Aikenhead climbed the scaffold Scotland was not far off being a theocracy in everything but name.’
    • ‘All the signs lead one to believe that elections will lead to a theocracy (which I dread).’
    • ‘Tibet was a theocracy, ruled by incarnate Buddhas, and, in imitation of China, it had adopted a policy of almost complete exclusion.’
    • ‘Democracies run by corrupt individuals will be corrupt; just as dictatorships or theocracies will be corrupt if their leaders are corrupt.’
    • ‘As long as an unelected theocracy doesn't emerge, the US will be relatively happy to declare victory and leave.’
    • ‘Unquestionably those good English zealots founded unforgiving theocracies on the soil of New England.’
    • ‘A closing chapter attempts to interpret a Christian theocracy in the context of a pluralistic culture.’
    • ‘The earth will have a theocracy; being ruled by God will bring perfection into the earth.’
    • ‘This sort of behaviour is why many of us who have supported the fight against fascist theocracies abroad are worried about its strident counterpart at home in the democratic West.’
    • ‘Putting God in the public square runs the risk of turning our democracy into a theocracy.’
    • ‘It would have been entirely possible for them to annul the constitution and implement a theocracy.’
    • ‘There is one group that wants to use democracy as an excuse for political payback and create a theocracy not a democracy.’
    • ‘First he debunks the criticism that the constitution establishes an Islamic theocracy.’
    • ‘Representatives of autocratic theocracies that finance terror, oppress women and consider homosexuality a capital crime are welcomed at many campuses.’
    • ‘The implication is that the party supports replacing democracy with an Islamic theocracy.’
    1. 1.1 The commonwealth of Israel from the time of Moses until the election of Saul as king.
      • ‘Israel, in the days of the Theocracy, lacked a capital city.’
      • ‘In the Old Testament God's purpose was fulfilled through Israel and the Theocracy.’


Early 17th century: from Greek theokratia (see theo-, -cracy).