Democracy



government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
a state having such a form of government:
The United States and Canada are democracies.
a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
political or social equality; spirit.
the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.
Contemporary Examples

They hoped that the Americans would bring the stability, security and democracy they promised.
Obama Went to War to Save Them, But They Can’t Get U.S. Visas Christine van den Toorn, Sherizaan Minwalla September 27, 2014

Beyond that, it was, for David, more than a game: He took the proper functioning of democracy very seriously.
David Broder: An Appreciation Lloyd Grove March 8, 2011

Diversity of thought, religion, ideology and freedom of expression is the underpinning of our democracy.
Does ‘Ebony’ Magazine Condone Bigotry? Ron Christie March 27, 2014

He was saluting what his ally, Nelson Mandela, had done to lead his country into democracy.
Chris Matthews Remembers Nelson Mandela MSNBC December 12, 2013

Which is to say: Obama put himself on the side of Palestinian democracy, too.
Putting America on Democracy’s Side Peter Beinart May 18, 2011

Historical Examples

Friends and fellow citizens, we must make the world free for democracy.
Mixed Faces Roy Norton

The Constitution of 1787 did not make our democracy impotent.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

In all lands it was hailed as the end of despotism and the triumph of democracy and freedom.
Bolshevism John Spargo

The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

That at least is the only kind of unity that offers hope finally of making a world safe with democracy in it.
The Psychology of Nations G.E. Partridge

noun (pl) -cies
government by the people or their elected representatives
a political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members
the practice or spirit of social equality
a social condition of classlessness and equality
the common people, esp as a political force
n.

1570s, from Middle French démocratie (14c.), from Medieval Latin democratia (13c.), from Greek demokratia “popular government,” from demos “common people,” originally “district” (see demotic), + kratos “rule, strength” (see -cracy).

Democracy implies that the man must take the responsibility for choosing his rulers and representatives, and for the maintenance of his own ‘rights’ against the possible and probable encroachments of the government which he has sanctioned to act for him in public matters. [Ezra Pound, “ABC of Economics,” 1933]

A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.

Note: Democratic institutions, such as parliaments, may exist in a monarchy. Such constitutional monarchies as Britain, Canada, and Sweden are generally counted as democracies in practice.

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