Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
  • n. A political or social unit that has such a government.
  • n. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
  • n. Majority rule.
  • n. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Rule by the people, especially as a form of government; either directly or through elected representatives (representative democracy).
  • n. A government under the direct or representative rule of the people of its jurisdiction.
  • n. Belief in political freedom and equality; the "spirit of democracy".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained and directly exercised by the people.
  • n. Government by popular representation; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but is indirectly exercised through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed; a constitutional representative government; a republic.
  • n. Collectively, the people, regarded as the source of government.
  • n. The principles and policy of the Democratic party, so called.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Government by the people; a system of government in which the sovereign power of the state is vested in the people as a whole, and is exercised directly by them or their elected agents.
  • n. A state or civil body in which the people themselves exercise all legislative authority, and confer all executive and judicial powers, either by direct collective action or through elected representatives.
  • n. Political and social equality in general; a state of society in which no hereditary differences of rank or privilege are recognized: opposed to aristocracy.
  • n. [capitalized] In United States political history:
  • n. The system of principles held by the Democratic party. See democratic.
  • n. The members of the Democratic party collectively.
  • n. In a collective sense, the people; especially, the people regarded as exercising political powers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
  • n. the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives
  • n. a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them

Etymologies

French démocratie, from Late Latin dēmocratia, from Greek dēmokratiā : dēmos, people; see dā- in Indo-European roots + -kratiā, -cracy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
demo- + -cracy, from Middle French democratie (French démocratie), from Medieval Latin democratia, from Ancient Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratia), from δῆμος (dēmos, "common people", "assembly of the people") + κράτος (kratos, "rule, strength"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Promoted to Headline (H3) on 3/12/09: "Empire, Elitism, Externalities, and Extinction" yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = '"Empire, Elitism, Externalities, and Extinction"'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: The real choice for informed Americans is not French socialism vs. American democracy, but rather peoples success with European/Japan, and world-wide \'social democracy\' vs. tyrannical ruling-elite \'corporate financial Empire\ '.'

    "Empire, Elitism, Externalities, and Extinction"

  • 'Alex Carey suggested that the 20th Century was \ "characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting the corporate power against democracy\".

    Jenny Darroch: What Do Social Media and the Printing Press Have in Common?

  • Diary Entry by Ross Levin (about the author) yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Action Alert: Money bomb today to fund a documentary about direct democracy, plus other activism'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'There\'s been a lot of talk about \'direct democracy\' since Obama was elected - about how his campaign involved people at a level never before seen in national politics, how his White House has been using online programs to get peoples\ 'input, and so on.

    OpEdNews - Diary: Action Alert: Money bomb today to fund a documentary about direct democracy, plus other activism

  • PAKISTAN: The democracy of boots, bullets, and brutality yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'PAKISTAN: The democracy of boots, bullets, and brutality'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: How does one \'spread democracy\' by supporting military juntas?

    PAKISTAN: The democracy of boots, bullets, and brutality

  • VIEW FAVORITES yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Pro-democracy group calls for international aid'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = '"If Abraham Lincoln famously defined \'democracy\' as \'government of, by and for the people, \ '"the statement reads," American democracy was always government OVER everyone, BY a small wealthy class, and (with an occasional exception) FOR these same few. "

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Pro-democracy group calls for international aid

  • Having come into power the proletariat only asserts the absolute impossibility of applying the methods of bourgeois democracy, and it creates the conditions and forms of a higher _working class democracy_ ....

    The Red Conspiracy

  • "Democracy exists not for the parties -- ruling ones or opposition -- democracy exists for citizens in order for the people to be able to use their exclusive right of managing their country," Medvedev said.

    Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

  • * The term democracy should not be taken to mean that the United States is a "democracy" in the literal or classical Greek meaning of the word.

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

  • Getting away from the fact that released detainee Binyam Mohammad appears to have been tortured by US officials, something which any true believer in democracy is totally opposed to, how many others feel less safe because he is in the country tonight?

    So why was Binyam Mohamed in Afghanistan ?

  • The experiment in democracy is failing, hoisted on the petard of political correctness and crass vote hustling.

    Crist, will Greene Sink Meek? | RedState

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Comments

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  • "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed, and are right."
    - H.L. Mencken

    February 16, 2009

  • "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage."
    - H. L. Mencken.

    September 29, 2008

  • "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner." -Anonymous

    December 22, 2006

  • "Democracy is the worst form of government except from all those others" - Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is 10 minutes with the average voter.

    December 22, 2006

  • "Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what they think you want to hear" Alan Coren.

    December 21, 2006

  • December 9, 2006