1580s, from French tymocracie, from Medieval Latin timocratia (13c.), from Greek timokratia, from time "honor, worth" (related to tiein "to place a value on, to honor," from PIE *kwi-ma-, suffixed form of root *kweie- (1) "to value, honor") + -kratia "rule" (see -cracy). In Plato's philosophy, a form of government in which ambition for honor and glory motivates the rulers (as in Sparta). In Aristotle, a form of government in which political power is in direct proportion to property ownership. Related: Timocratic; timocratical.