Definition of theocracy in English:



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

    • ‘Unquestionably those good English zealots founded unforgiving theocracies on the soil of New England.’
    • ‘This is the fundamental difference between kingdoms, theocracies, feudal states, and a democratic republic.’
    • ‘Representatives of autocratic theocracies that finance terror, oppress women and consider homosexuality a capital crime are welcomed at many campuses.’
    • ‘Iran has made the transition in the last twenty years from a nominal constitutional monarchy to a democratic theocracy.’
    • ‘When Aikenhead climbed the scaffold Scotland was not far off being a theocracy in everything but name.’
    • ‘There is one group that wants to use democracy as an excuse for political payback and create a theocracy not a democracy.’
    • ‘As long as an unelected theocracy doesn't emerge, the US will be relatively happy to declare victory and leave.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Putting God in the public square runs the risk of turning our democracy into a theocracy.’
    • ‘All the signs lead one to believe that elections will lead to a theocracy (which I dread).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The earth will have a theocracy; being ruled by God will bring perfection into the earth.’
    • ‘First he debunks the criticism that the constitution establishes an Islamic theocracy.’
    • ‘It would have been entirely possible for them to annul the constitution and implement a theocracy.’
    • ‘The implication is that the party supports replacing democracy with an Islamic theocracy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the speech was most notable for the force with which Yeats pleaded that the Free State should not become a theocracy.’
    • ‘A closing chapter attempts to interpret a Christian theocracy in the context of a pluralistic culture.’
    1. 1.1The 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).