divine right


: the right of a sovereign to rule as set forth by the theory of government that holds that a monarch receives the right to rule directly from God and not from the people

Examples of divine right in a Sentence

He ruled by divine right. My boss seems to think he has a divine right to order people around.
Recent Examples on the Web Recall that the Czars ruled, also, by divine right. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 Doing so was his divine right as both sovereign and catalyst, a ritual that would have strengthened his connection to the kinetic. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 7 Sep. 2023 America’s social contract was that liberty and self-determination was a more powerful engine of human freedom than vassalage and the divine right of kings. TIME, 9 Jan. 2024 But absolutist claims of divine right to territory appear impossible to reconcile. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 Since this portion of the coronation symbolizes the monarch's divine right to the throne, it's typically done away from the public—and, of course, the millions of viewers watching on live television at home. Kelsey Mulvey, House Beautiful, 7 May 2023 In centuries past, it was seen as granting the monarch the divine right to rule. David Luhnow, wsj.com, 5 May 2023 Considered the most sacred part of the coronation, the anointing asserts the sovereign’s divine right to rule. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 May 2023 She’s almost been raised with this divine right to run the world and make the choices of which way the world goes. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'divine right.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of divine right was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near divine right

Cite this Entry

“Divine right.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divine%20right. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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