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Republic:  the dictionary


The Macquarie Dictionary ( 1st edition)  gives the following three relevant definitions of a republic:

1.     A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them

2.     Any body or persons, etc., viewed as a commonwealth

3.     A state, especially a democratic state, in which the head of government is an elected or nominated president, not an hereditary monarch.

Note that a constitutional monarchy clearly falls into the first and second definitions. It is also covered by the third, where the head of government is the prime minister.  It also falls into the third, as a constitutional monarch is not the head of government.

The origin of the word is from the Latin respublica, meaning public matter. The closest word in English is Commonwealth.

The Shorter Oxford Dictionary (3rd edition) says the word first occurred in English in 1603.

 Its relevant definitions are:

1.     The state, the common weal -1684

2.     A state in which the supreme power rests in the people and their elected representatives or officers, as opp. To one governed by a king or the like; a commonwealth 1604.

Either could include a constitutional monarchy.

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