The term "democracy" has been used loosely in general conversation so often that it lost the precise meaning. However, this term can be clearly defined and measurable. Freedom House has done an excellent job of measuring democracy, and published the results in its annual survey Freedom In the World.
Democracy can be defined in two ways. One is called electoral democracy and the other is called liberal democracy. With the former definition, a country is democratic if there are free and open elections. Note the world "free and open". Many countries have elections, but intimidation and vote rigging are rampant. Those countries are not true electoral democracies. Examples of such countries include Russia and Iran, where election is considered non-transparent and unfair to opposition parties.
The second definition focuses on the liberties in the society. A democracy is defined through political freedom and civil liberty. Political freedom covers not only elections, but the transparency of the government and political participation. Civil liberties ranges from freedom of speech, to union rights and rule of law. This second definition requires evaluating various aspects of a country, and provides a continuing spectrum on the progress of each country. We can say the US is more democratic than Philippines because the rule of law and government transparency is more established.