The Meaning of Democracy: What It Is and How To Use It

What is the system of government known as a democracy? This article will teach you all the meaning of democracy and how to use the word democracy.

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Do you live in a democracy? Do you know what sort of governmental system your country uses? This article will teach you what the word democracy means and then provide supplemental information on the word democracy. So, if you want to know all there is to know about the word democracy, keep reading!

What Does Democracy Mean?

According to Britannica and Dictionary, a democracy is a form of government or a political system in which elected representatives make decisions on behalf of the people, who retain the supreme power. There are many forms of democracies, including direct democracy, liberal democracy, representative democracy, parliamentary democracy, social democracy, and more.

If you study political science or political theory, you will probably hear the word democracy pop up frequently. Several countries around the world operate as democracies or democratic republics. There are many different government systems in the world, and none are one hundred percent right or wrong.  

How Can We Use Democracy in a Sentence?

If you discuss politics and political systems, you might hear the word democracy. One of the best ways to memorize a word’s definition is to practice using it in a sentence. First, study the below example sentences, which contain the word democracy. Then, try coming up with your own example sentences for the word democracy!

Example #1: A True Democracy

Even though we live in Western democracies, it feels as though we are under a dictatorial rule of law where our human rights and social equality are constantly in jeopardy.

Example #2: Going Against a Democracy

The common people believed that the New York electorate went against democracy and voters’ wishes due to their involvement with interest groups.

Example #3: Democratic Elections

While we have free elections under our democracy, it can feel like political power is still in the hands of the political systems themselves.  

Example #4: A Modern Democracy

Democracy today is very different than it was in city-states like Athens in Ancient Greece.

What Is the Etymology of Democracy?

The word democracy comes from the Ancient Greek dēmokratia. This Greek term combines demos, which means people, and kratos or kratia, which means a rule. These Greek terms led to the Late Latin dēmocratia and Middle French démocratie, and the word democracy entered the English language between 1525 and 1535.

What Are Translations of Democracy?

Democracies exist all around the world. If you are studying global politics or are interested in how different systems of government work around the world, you can study this list of translations from Nice Translator

You might notice that several of these words look and sound similar to the word democracy. This often happens when two worlds in different languages have the same language of origin. 

  • Hungarian: demokrácia
  • Serbian: демократија
  • Filipino: Demokrasya
  • Greek: Δημοκρατία
  • Vietnamese: nền dân chủ
  • Bulgarian: демокрация
  • French: la démocratie
  • Amharic: ዴሞክራሲ
  • Gujarati: લોકશાહી
  • Polish: demokracja
  • Turkish: demokrasi
  • Basque: demokrazia
  • Catalan: democràcia
  • Chinese (PRC): 民主
  • Korean: 민주주의
  • Tamil: ஜனநாயகம்
  • Russian: демократия
  • Spanish: democracia
  • Croatian: demokracija
  • Hebrew: דֵמוֹקרָטִיָה
  • Estonian: demokraatia
  • Telugu: ప్రజాస్వామ్యం
  • Italian: democrazia
  • Thai: ประชาธิปไตย
  • Welsh: democratiaeth
  • Lithuanian: Demokratija
  • Japanese: 民主主義
  • Arabic: ديمقراطية
  • Malayalam: ജനാധിപത്യം
  • Swedish: demokrati
  • Indonesian: demokrasi
  • Danish: demokrati
  • Ukrainian: демократія
  • Portuguese (Brazil): democracia
  • Slovenian: demokracija
  • Dutch: democratie
  • Hindi: लोकतंत्र
  • Icelandic: lýðræði
  • Portuguese (Portugal): democracia
  • Latvian: demokrātija
  • Czech: demokracie
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 民主
  • Urdu: جمہوریت
  • Swahili: demokrasia
  • Slovak: demokracia
  • Kannada: ಪ್ರಜಾಪ್ರಭುತ್ವ
  • Norwegian: demokrati
  • Finnish: demokratia
  • Bengali: গণতন্ত্র
  • Marathi: लोकशाही
  • Romanian: democraţie
  • German: Demokratie
  • Malay: demokrasi

What Are Synonyms of Democracy?

Power Thesaurus lists several words and phrases with the same or a similar meaning as the word democracy. Several of these words can be used in place of the term democracy, while others refer to similar systems of government. 

If you feel that you have overused the word democracy, you can opt to use one of these synonyms of democracy in its place. How many of these synonyms of democracy do you already know?

  • autonomy
  • civil government
  • commonwealth
  • constitutional government
  • democracies
  • democratic governance
  • democratic organization
  • democratic rule
  • democratic society
  • democratic state
  • democratic system
  • democratism
  • egalitarianism
  • elective government
  • emancipation
  • freedom
  • government by the people
  • home rule
  • majority rule
  • people power
  • polity
  • popular government
  • popular rule
  • popular sovereignty
  • representative government
  • republic
  • self-determination
  • self-government
  • self-rule
  • sovereignty
  • sovereignty of the people
  • suffrage

What Are Antonyms of Democracy?

If someone doesn’t live in a democracy, the governmental power doesn’t lie with the people. The opposite of a democracy is likely a type of authoritarian regime. To learn all about systems of government that are the opposite of democracy, study this list of democracy antonyms from Power Thesaurus

Do you know the difference between these authoritarian systems of government? For example, what is the difference between fascism, a dictatorship, or a religious oligarchy? You can research all of these different types of government to learn more. 

  • absolutism
  • arbitrariness
  • arbitrary rule
  • ascendancy
  • autarchy
  • authoritarianism
  • autocracy
  • blood and iron
  • coercion
  • collectivism
  • communalism
  • communism
  • compulsion
  • constraint
  • despotism
  • dictate
  • dictatorship
  • domination
  • fascism
  • force
  • garrison state
  • human rights abuse
  • imperiousness
  • inequality
  • junta
  • military rule
  • monarchy
  • monocracy
  • oligarchy
  • one-man government
  • oppression
  • plutocracy
  • policy of militarism
  • rod
  • socialism
  • stratocracy
  • totalism
  • totalitarian government
  • totalitarianism
  • tyrannical rule
  • tyranny


The definition of democracy is an electoral system of government in which the power rests with the people. People who live in a democracy often elect officials who represent their beliefs and vote on decisions by majority rule. Of course, governmental systems are much more complicated than this, but that is the general premise of a democracy. 


  1. Democracy synonyms – 115 Words and Phrases for Democracy | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Democracy antonyms – 138 Opposites of Democracy | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Democracy | Nice Translator 
  4. Democracy Definition & Meaning |
  5. democracy | Definition, History, Meaning, Types, Examples, & Facts | Britannica