Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-cracy Also -crat, -cratic, and -cratical.

Government, rule, or influence.

[Greek -kratia, power or rule.]

Many terms in -cracy have been coined, though only a small number are at all well known; most can mean either a system of influence or rule or a society so ruled, as with democracy, rule through elected representatives; a few can also refer to the rulers as a group, as with aristocracy (Greek aristos, best), rule by members of the highest social class.

The form is active, used to create words for influential groups with characteristics in common: punditocracy, media commentators; adhocracy, a loose group of influential advisers; meritocracy, government or the holding of power by people selected on the basis of their educational ability.

All can have associated adjectives in -cratic (bureaucratic, meritocratic), and nouns in -crat for a member of the relevant class or group (aristocrat, autocrat). A few can also have adjectives in -cratical (aristocratical, democratical), but these are much rarer than the corresponding forms in -cratic.

See also -archy and -cy.

Examples of words in -cracy

aristocracy rule by the highest social class Greek aristos, best
autocracy rule by one person with absolute power Greek autos, self
bureaucracy government in which officials take most of the decisions French bureau, office
democracy rule by all citizens Greek dēmos, the people
gerontocracy rule by old people Greek gerōn, old man
mediocracy rule by mediocre people or a system in which mediocrity is rewarded Latin mediocris, middling
meritocracy rule by those selected on the basis of ability English merit
mobocracy rule by the mob English mob
plutocracy rule by the rich Greek ploutos, wealth
technocracy control of society by technical experts English technology
teledemocracy democracy mediated or operated by telecommunications or television Greek tēle-, far off.
thalassocracy rule over the seas Greek thal, sea
theocracy rule by priests Greek theos, God

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