- noun a theory or system of government by freely elected representatives of the people
- noun the right to fair government, free election of representatives and equality in voting
- noun a country ruled in this way
- noun a system of government based on the principle of majority decision-making, representing the rights of each and every citizen in a society.
Origin & History of “democracy”
Democracy means literally ‘government by the populace at large’. It comes via Old French democratie and medieval Latin dēmocratia from Greek dēmokratíā, a compound formed from demos ‘people’ and -kratíā ‘rule’, a derivative of the noun krátos ‘power, authority’, which has contributed a number of terms for types of government to English. The original meaning of Greek demos was ‘district, land’, but eventually it came to denote the people living in such a district, particularly the ordinary people considered as a social class participating in government – hence democracy. The derivative democrat (18th c.) was coined in French at the time of the Revolution.