autocracy

noun
au·​toc·​ra·​cy | \ ȯ-ˈtä-krə-sē How to pronounce autocracy (audio) \
plural autocracies

Definition of autocracy

1 : the authority or rule of an autocrat
2 : government in which one person possesses unlimited power
3 : a community or state governed by autocracy

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Examples of autocracy in a Sentence

the Magna Carta is historically important because it signified the British rejection of autocracy and constituted the first formal restraining of the power of the monarch
Recent Examples on the Web Today 54% of the global population lives in an autocracy like Russia, Belarus or Venezuela – the highest percentage in 20 years. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, "For Vladimir Putin and other autocrats, ruthlessly repressing the opposition is often a winning way to stay in power," 22 Apr. 2021 Today 54% of the global population lives in an autocracy like Russia, Belarus or Venezuela – the highest percentage in 20 years. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, "For autocrats like Vladimir Putin, ruthless repression is often a winning way to stay in power," 7 Apr. 2021 But unlike the Cold War of the last century, the 21st century’s autocracy-democracy confrontation will be significantly intertwined with economics, experts say. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "A united front against China? Why that’s tricky for US and Europe.," 30 Mar. 2021 Now, many Haitians fear a return to autocracy as President Jovenel Moïse has been steadily amassing power. Andre Paultre And Sarah Marsh, The Christian Science Monitor, "The battle for democracy goes on in Haiti as Moïse gains power," 30 Mar. 2021 For Biden, the big idea — at least so far — is competition between democracy and autocracy. Los Angeles Times, "Five takeaways from Biden’s first news conference," 25 Mar. 2021 During his first solo news conference as president, Biden warned that China seeks to become the world's wealthiest and most powerful country – and to impose its repressive autocracy across the globe. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Biden: China's Xi Jinping doesn't have 'a democratic ... bone in his body'," 25 Mar. 2021 For decades, the United States has either enabled or looked the other way in the face of Saudi autocracy and sponsorship of terrorism. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Biden’s Worrying Reluctance to Confront Saudi Arabia," 25 Mar. 2021 But these glitzy endeavors can’t conceal the autocracy underneath. Washington Post, "The royals who actually matter," 10 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autocracy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of autocracy

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for autocracy

see autocrat

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Time Traveler for autocracy

Time Traveler

The first known use of autocracy was in 1659

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Statistics for autocracy

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Autocracy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autocracy. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for autocracy

autocracy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of autocracy

: a form of government in which a country is ruled by a person or group with total power
: a country that is ruled by a person or group with total power

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