-acy, -cy

(Latin: suffix; state, quality, condition, or act of; forming nouns)

adequacy
1. Sufficient for a specific requirement or barely sufficient or satisfactory.
2: Lawfully and reasonably sufficient.
advocacy (s) (noun), advocacies (pl)
1. An active verbal support for a cause or political position, etc.: At the political convention, there was a lot of advocacy, or backing up, for the experienced and wise candidate for the office of U.S. President.
2. The act of speaking or writing, in support of something; such as, an idea, a cause, or a policy and giving active support: Jane’s advocacy for the local animal rights group helped convince the public to donate more money for saving the lives of stray animals.
albocracy (s) (noun), albocracies (pl)
A government which is dominated or controlled by white men or Europeans.
androcracy (s) (noun), androcracies (pl)
The political and social control and rule by males; masculine supremacy: Many countries in the world can be considered to be androcracies because the leaders are usually men and never women.
Social and political supremacy by men.
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anemocracy (s) (noun), anemocracies (pl)
A government controlled by the wind or by political decisions instead of serious research and practical applications: The miserable state of an anemocracy is when people who put their trust in irrational procedures are merely governed by the "windy" impractical arguments of politicians.
angelocracy (s) (noun), angelocracies (pl)
A government run by angels.
argentocracy (s) (noun), argentocracies (pl)
The rule or paramount influence of money.
aristocracy

There are bad manners everywhere, but an aristocracy is bad manners organized.

—Henry James
aristocracy (s) (noun), aristocracies (pl)
1. The government of a state by its “best” citizens.
2. That form of government in which the chief power lies in the hands of those who are most distinguished by birth or fortune; a political supremacy of a privileged order.
3. The class to which such a ruling body belongs, a patrician order; the collective body of those who form a privileged class with regard to the government of their country; the nobles.

Aristocracy is popularly extended to include all of those, who by birth or fortune, occupy a position distinctly above the rest of the people and it is also used figuratively regarding those who are superior in other respects.

There are bad manners everywhere, but an aristocracy is bad manners organized.

—Henry James
arithmocracy (s) (noun), arithmocracies (pl)
A form of government in which power results from the group that holds the numerical majority in a country: An arithmocracy can be a good form of government, or it can have negative results, depending on whether there is a balance between governmental rule and individual liberty.

If someone with arithmocracy wants to do away with criticism of the government with the hope of assuring national harmony, it would not get by with passing a law forbidding the media or private citizens from openly challenging any political decisions!

autocracy (s) (noun), autocracies (pl)
A form of government in which a country is ruled by one person, or group, with total power or unrestricted control over all of the other citizens: An autocracy involves a system in which someone makes decisions which are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control.
barbarocracy (s) (noun), barbarocracies (pl)
Government or rule by barbarians, as that of Italy by the German emperors.
biopiracy
1. Biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants, microbes, enzymes, etc. by corporations who patent them for their own commercial use.
2. The commercial development of naturally occurring biological materials; such as, plant substances or genetic cell lines, by a technologically advanced country or organization without fair compensation to the peoples or nations in whose territory the materials were originally discovered.

The patenting of plants, genes, and other biological products that are indigenous to a foreign country; for example, some developing tropical nations are saying that if the West cries foul over piracy of intellectual property or computer software, then biopiracy in Western labs of jungle extracts should also be considered a high economic crime.

Biopiracy usually refers to the privatization and unauthorized use of biological resources by entities (including corporations, universities, and governments) outside of a country that has pre-existing knowledge. This privatization and use is sometimes claimed to be predatory. Particular activities usually covered by the term are: Exclusive commercial rights to plants, animals, organs, microorganisms, and genes; as well as, commercialization of traditional communities' knowledge on biological resources; and patenting of biological resources.

Here is a biopiracy article that presents an example of this topic.

bureaucracy (s) (noun), bureaucracies (pl)
1. Administration of a government chiefly through departments which are staffed with non-elected officials: The entrenched bureaucracies in the government have caused many delays in processing important payments to those who are entitled to tax refunds.
2. The management or administration which is marked by hierarchical authority among numerous offices and by fixed procedures: Some government offices are accused of being a rigid bureaucracy and thus impeding or slowing down actions because of their overly strict adherence to rules or regulations.

To satisfy the government bureaucracy, James and Jane had to fill out several different forms and then they had to wait for some weeks before they obtained the payment that they had coming to them.

3. An administrative system in which the need or inclination to follow rigid or complex procedures interferes with efficient and effective actions: Innovative or new ideas too often get bogged down in red tape in a bureaucracy.

Too often bureaucracies insist on going through rigid routines, resulting in delays in making decisions or in carrying out requests. This is also known as "red tape" which comes from the former use of red or pink tape to tie up or to seal official documents for security reasons.

Too often a bureaucracy is where more is said than is actually done.

Red tape is what binds bureaucracy together and it represents projects that are often never completed until the weight of the paper work is equal to the weight of all the workers who are involved.

—Compiled from an entry in
Esar's Comic Dictionary by Evan Esar; Doubleday & Company, Inc.;
Garden City, New York; 1983; page 500.
An agency in which complex procedures interfere with practical applications or actions.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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celebacy