REPUB'LIC, noun [Latin respublica; res and publica; public affairs.]
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.