separation of powers
(countable and uncountable, plural separations of powers)
- A theoretical model for governance, common in democratic states, which features the division of sovereign power into at least three (but sometimes up to six) organs of state in order to forestall tyranny, by preventing the acquisition of a monopoly of power by a monarch or oligarchy; also, such an arrangement.
separation of powers - Legal Definition
The separation of the power of the states from that of the federal government and the division of the federal government into three branches (executive, legislative, and judicial), each of which has specific powers upon which neither of the others can usurp. These checks and balances are given large credit for the prevention of a tyrant ever seizing power in this country.