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A.Word.A.Day--stratocracy

Pronunciation RealAudio

stratocracy (struh-TOK-ruh-see) noun

Government by the military.

[From Greek stratos (army) + -cracy (rule, government). Ultimately from Indo-European root ster- (to spread), source of such words as structure, industry, destroy, street, Russian perestroika, and stratagem.]

With so many countries under military rule, why isn't this word better known? Go ahead, put it to use -- why use many words when a single word is available to describe something?

"(P)NDC was a stratocracy that deployed a culture of wanton and extra-judicial assassinations in the specious guise of revolutionary house-cleaning." Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe; Question of Kettle Calling the Pot Black; New York Beacon; Oct 9, 2003.

"They ... fell to be governed by an army. Their monarchy was changed into a stratocracy, and not into an aristocracy or democracy." Robert Filmer, et al; 'Patriarcha' and Other Writings; Cambridge University Press; 1991.

This week's theme: words from Greek.

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