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noun an·ar·chy \ˈa-nər-kē, -ˌnär-\

Simple Definition of anarchy

  • : a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of anarchy

  1. 1 a :  absence of government b :  a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c :  a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government

  2. 2 a :  absence or denial of any authority or established order b :  absence of order :  disorder <not manicured plots but a wild anarchy of nature — Israel Shenker>

  3. 3 :  anarchism

Examples of anarchy in a sentence

  1. Its immigration policies in the last five years have become the envy of those in the West who see in all but the most restrictive laws the specter of terrorism and social anarchy. —Caroline Moorehead, New York Review of Books, 16 Nov. 2006

  2. Fueled by booze and the euphoria of having seen their school win a share of its first … title in 36 years, a mob of Beavers fans hurled itself at the cops, breaching both chains and creating anarchy. —Austin Murphy, Sports Illustrated, 27 Nov. 2000

  3. But by the early 1800s, the mines began to play out, and the colonists challenged the Spanish throne for independence. The Silver Cities survived not only the bloody revolution of 1821 but also the ensuing century of anarchy and bloodshed. —David Baird, Continental, February 1999

  4. The anarchy of the Internet may be daunting for the neophyte, but it differs little from the bibliographical chaos that is the result of five and a half centuries of the printing press. —Fred Lerner, The Story of Libraries, (1945) 1998

  5. Anarchy reigned in the empire's remote provinces.

  6. When the teacher was absent, there was anarchy in the classroom.

Origin and Etymology of anarchy

Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler — more at arch-

First Known Use: 1539

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a secret group of plotters

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