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
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)