Definition of democracy in US English:

democracy

nounPlural democracies

  • 1A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

    ‘capitalism and democracy are ascendant in the third world’
    • ‘In key respects this new politics represents a contest for democracy itself.’
    • ‘This is their chance to breathe new life into our system of Parliamentary democracy.’
    • ‘The politics of parliamentary democracy are not as monolithic as you represent them.’
    • ‘Rousseau laid the basis for modern ideas of democracy and the legitimacy of majority rule.’
    • ‘Representative democracy must mean that those who govern will fairly represent the governed.’
    • ‘One of the major principles of democracy is that government is conducted by the people.’
    • ‘People asserted themselves to save democracy and the parliamentary system was restored.’
    • ‘The whole direction of modern democracy is toward inclusion and equality of rights.’
    • ‘Yet in practice, liberal democracy should also allow for checks on government and limits to majority rule.’
    • ‘The history of the world is a history of systems: monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, what you will.’
    • ‘Dictatorship was repudiated, and democracy accepted as a system of values.’
    • ‘Our system of democracy rests on the electorate being able to hold politicians accountable.’
    • ‘He forgets that democracy is a system in which the people choose their leaders.’
    • ‘It will be interesting to see how the judge treats the dilemma between central control and local democracy.’
    • ‘I want to tell the people in the gallery that they are observers of our parliamentary democracy.’
    • ‘We condemn this decision, and appeal to all those who are on the side of democracy and freedom of the press to take a stand against it.’
    • ‘The example of Greek democracy seemed so much better in theory than in practice.’
    • ‘Simple representative democracy in such a plural polity will no longer work.’
    • ‘The British system of representative democracy has always abhorred referendums on moral issues.’
    • ‘This is a serious development which could threaten free elections and representative democracy itself.’
    representative government, elective government, constitutional government, popular government
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    1. 1.1 A state governed by a democracy.
      ‘a multiparty democracy’
      • ‘Most of the democracies in Europe at the time had diverse nationalised industries.’
      • ‘In few democracies is government regarded with such suspicion and scepticism.’
      • ‘Thanks to that, it is now virtually a pacifist country, and one of the most stable democracies in the world.’
      • ‘What rights do women and religious minorities actually exercise in these democracies?’
      • ‘There can be and have been intolerant democracies and reasonably tolerant autocracies.’
      • ‘As has been said by quite a number of speakers today, our Parliament is one of the oldest true democracies.’
      • ‘I would be the last person to say that our current democracies are actually democratic.’
      • ‘Both are successful democracies with proud records on human rights.’
      • ‘Among the caucuses that the members of this community of democracies agreed to form, was one at the United Nations.’
      • ‘So will our government work with other democracies to dismantle the tax havens?’
      • ‘In most democracies, changing the constitution is the work of years.’
      • ‘Freedom, then, is potentially but not automatically available to individuals in democracies.’
      • ‘The colonies were not democracies and the governors were not responsible to an electorate.’
      • ‘Debate and criticism are the life blood of the democracies - both in Europe and America.’
      • ‘Countries with stable democracies today had to go through long and bitter civil wars.’
      • ‘The House of Commons sits for more days and more hours than any other legislature in the large democracies.’
      • ‘Unlike a legislative body in most democracies, the Council exercises significant executive powers.’
      • ‘International law is not as well-defined as national law in advanced democracies.’
      • ‘Some changes in sovereignty have led to new forms of cooperation among the developed democracies in the North.’
      • ‘In democracies, it is the press which puts manners on governments, not the other way around.’
    2. 1.2 Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
      ‘the intended extension of industrial democracy’
      • ‘Indeed their rulers have tried to eliminate those who stood for genuine workers' control and democracy.’
      • ‘I'm not a fan of direct democracy because I do not think that a majority vote on a single issue is the best way of going about things.’
      • ‘A small majority has to be good for democracy and it will help to ensure fiscal stability.’
      • ‘Even on the low level of a small group, students can practice democracy among themselves.’
      • ‘In previous research, the author conducted a narrative examination of the literature on labor-managed firms to discover the nature of "organization democracy."’
      • ‘Most importantly, he argues, it lacked any real expansion of democracy or workers' control.’
      • ‘This provided an element of democracy and a basic structure of organisation.’
      • ‘Many delegates were concerned about the implications for democracy of the new rule book.’
      • ‘The principle of elected controllers extends into every area of workers' democracy.’
      • ‘You were voicing the will of the majority and in a democracy, that makes you right.’
      • ‘Even more important to the majority rule of democracy is how well we safeguard more vulnerable minorities.’
      • ‘Workplace democracy would be simple to organise but revolutionary in its effects.’
      • ‘He has the total support of the majority and in a democracy such as ours that's all that matters.’
      • ‘Well, that is what happens in a democracy, a majority vote, or there has to be some sort of a voting system.’
      • ‘Perhaps more important was the emphasis they placed on democracy and community organisation.’
      • ‘My point being that part of democracy involves accepting the wishes of the majority, even if they are contrary to your own.’
      • ‘Even their own internal operating practices showed a lack of respect for democracy.’
    3. 1.3 The practice or principles of social equality.
      ‘demands for greater democracy’
      • ‘Graham cited values such as democracy, gender equality and respect for human rights.’
      • ‘It is a fight for democracy and social justice and it must be led in accordance with the law.’
      • ‘These values include individualism, liberty, democracy and the rule of law.’
      • ‘The workshop will also show how the Internet and new technologies can be used to promote the spirit and practice of democracy.’
      • ‘The real world of political economy sets the limits to democracy and equality.’
      • ‘Freedom of the press is one of the most important principles of any democracy.’
      • ‘As in the passage quoted above, he often uses equality of condition as a virtual synonym for democracy.’
      • ‘We are fighting for social rights and social justice, for democracy and against all forms of oppression.’
      • ‘In principle at least, democracy is committed to the equality of all individuals.’
      • ‘They believed it would uphold the principles of democracy and social equality.’
      • ‘Women have seen this development as a backlash against equality and democracy.’
      • ‘Under such conditions, democracy, equality and political rights stood no chance.’
      • ‘In order to actually promote democracy, you have to promote social equality as well.’
      • ‘Real democracy demands social equality rather than merely the right to vote.’
      • ‘Equality is the absolute heart of our democracy: the right of all people to be treated equally.’
      • ‘The case is becoming a critical test of our justice system and our democracy.’
      • ‘It has been a commendable process, based on a belief in the principles of democracy and the rule of law.’
      • ‘Tocqueville saw the Revolution as the advent of democracy and equality but not of liberty.’
      • ‘We live in the 21st century, the age of democracy and equality of opportunity.’
      • ‘The basis for genuine democracy is not toting guns, but achieving economic equality.’
      independence, self-government, self-determination, self-legislation, self rule, home rule, sovereignty, autonomy, autarky
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Origin

Late 16th century: from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule’.

Pronunciation

democracy

/dəˈmäkrəsē//dəˈmɑkrəsi/