mon·​ar·​chy | \ ˈmä-nər-kē How to pronounce monarchy (audio) also -ˌnär- \
plural monarchies

Definition of monarchy

1 : undivided rule or absolute sovereignty by a single person Saudi Arabia is governed by a monarchy.
2 : a nation or state having a monarchical government Britain is a monarchy.
3 : a government having a hereditary chief of state with life tenure and powers varying from nominal to absolute The country's hereditary monarchy survived for centuries.

Examples of monarchy in a Sentence

the French monarchy of the 18th century
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the country was invited to tune in on television to commemorate a prince born in Greece but who dedicated his life to furthering the British monarchy. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Prince Philip Laid to Rest in Royal Funeral Without Precedent," 17 Apr. 2021 This was because of a long-standing tradition within the British monarchy. Washington Post, "Prince Philip, original Wife Guy," 9 Apr. 2021 Philip did not become the king due to a longstanding rule of the British monarchy which decrees that a man who marries a reigning queen will be referred to as Prince Consort. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Who is Prince Philip and why was he not a king? What to know about Queen Elizabeth II's late husband," 9 Apr. 2021 Since 1837, this historic neoclassical-style structure has served as the official London residence of the British monarchy, beginning with Queen Victoria. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "All of the Castles and Palaces Prince Philip Called Home," 9 Apr. 2021 Carlson has supported Morgan from the start — part of the conservative game plan lately is to defend the British monarchy. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Tucker Carlson's Fox Nation interview with Piers Morgan was ridiculous TV and worse journalism," 6 Apr. 2021 According to the actor, that would be the British monarchy. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "SNL Showcases Daniel Kaluuya’s Comedic Genius," 4 Apr. 2021 The Armani argument is essentially that when everything has gone mad, safe but top-notch design can be revolutionary—and empower a woman to do revolutionary things like, say, take down the British monarchy. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "Giorgio Armani on Fashion's Future—And Why He's Not Slowing Down," 31 Mar. 2021 The mid-19th century was a period of rapid change for Britain, the British Empire and the British monarchy. Suyin Haynes, Time, "The Little-Known History Behind the People of Color Who Joined the Royal Family Long Before Meghan," 12 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monarchy.' 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 monarchy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of monarchy was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for monarchy



English Language Learners Definition of monarchy

: a country that is ruled by a monarch (such as a king or queen)
: a form of government in which a country is ruled by a monarch


mon·​ar·​chy | \ ˈmä-nər-kē How to pronounce monarchy (audio) \
plural monarchies

Kids Definition of monarchy

1 : a state or country having a king or queen
2 : a form of government headed by a king or queen

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