divine right


Definition of 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 Here Black bodies were claimed as human property by people of European descent who imagined that their Whiteness conferred a divine right to own other people and the land beneath their feet. William Barber And Jonathan Wilson-hartgrove, CNN, 17 May 2021 Mesopotamian kingship was conceived as being descended from heaven, an ancient precursor to what would become, a few thousand years on, a corrosive doctrine of the divine right of kings. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2021 The Mayflower Compact, signed on November 11, 1620, broke ranks with English political theory and practice, in which unelected monarchs issued decrees and ruled by divine right. Joseph Loconte, National Review, 11 Nov. 2020 Charles was an ultra-royalist who believed in the divine right of kings. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 11 Mar. 2020 David has invented a wholly new iconography for a modern ruler, bereft of the old monarchical symbols, in which authority derives not from divine right but from valor. Jason Farago, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2020 Political disputes were necessarily religious disputes, and the tyranny of ancient Egypt was therefore not merely political: Pharaoh’s boast was not divine right but divinity itself. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 28 Nov. 2019 This reform should weaken the notion that agents have a divine right to 5% or more. Chris Bryant | Bloomberg, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2019 Those who believe in the divine right of kings will see a youth with royal blood running through him that is older even than England itself, that can be traced all the way back to the regal Ashanti. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, 2 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of divine right

circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About divine right

Time Traveler for divine right

Time Traveler

The first known use of divine right was circa 1600

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near divine right

divine retribution

divine right

divine service

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for divine right

Last Updated

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Divine right.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divine%20right. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for divine right

divine right


English Language Learners Definition of divine right

: the right that is supposedly given to a king or queen by God to rule a country
informal : the right to do or have something without having to ask permission


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!