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Republic

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Republic

1.  A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people.  In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person.  Yet the democracies of Greece are often called republics.
2.  Common interest; the public.  [Not in use.]
Republic of letters, the collective body of learned men.

Webster's 1828