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[mon-er-kee] /ˈmɒn ər ki/
noun, plural monarchies.
a state or nation in which the supreme power is actually or nominally lodged in a monarch.
supreme power or sovereignty held by a single person.
Origin of monarchy
1300-50; Middle English monarchie < Late Latin monarchia < Greek monarchía. See monarch, -y3
Related forms
antimonarchy, adjective
promonarchy, adjective
1. See kingdom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for monarchy
  • Qatar is an absolute monarchy and adheres to a strict interpretation of Islam.
  • The truth is that British taxpayers bear the entire cost of the monarchy.
  • British knighthoods are bestowed by the monarchy but as a practical matter recipients are selected by the civil government.
  • Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
  • Almost as old as monarchy is a royal sense of responsibility.
  • The land of vegetables is no longer a democracy but a monarchy.
  • He also expressed doubt about the future of the monarchy.
  • The fact is that the monarchy is a most expensive institution to mantain.
  • It has long been a monarchy, although the king currently holds no real power.
  • Politicians are not keen to see a big rise in the cost of the monarchy, especially in these straitened times.
British Dictionary definitions for monarchy


noun (pl) -chies
a form of government in which supreme authority is vested in a single and usually hereditary figure, such as a king, and whose powers can vary from those of an absolute despot to those of a figurehead
a country reigned over by a king, prince, or other monarch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for monarchy

"state ruled by monarchical government," mid-14c.; "rule by one person," late 14c.; from Old French monarchie "sovereignty, absolute power" (13c.), from Late Latin monarchia, from Greek monarkhia "absolute rule," literally "ruling of one," from monos "alone" (see mono-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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monarchy in Culture
monarchy [(mon-uhr-kee, mon-ahr-kee)]

A system of government in which one person reigns, usually a king or queen. The authority, or crown, in a monarchy is generally inherited. The ruler, or monarch, is often only the head of state, not the head of government. Many monarchies, such as Britain and Denmark, are actually governed by parliaments. (See absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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