mon·​ar·​chy ˈmä-nər-kē How to pronounce monarchy (audio)
 also  -ˌnär-
plural monarchies
: undivided rule or absolute sovereignty by a single person
Saudi Arabia is governed by a monarchy.
: a nation or state having a monarchical government
Britain is a monarchy.
: 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 Unlike today’s gun advocates, who think of danger as other types of people, the founders understood tyranny as a universal propensity—a problem larger than monarchy or the more obvious villainies of history. TIME, 31 Jan. 2024 In times of need, the British sovereign can call on their Counsellors of State to step up to help manage the monarchy. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 19 Jan. 2024 Versailles ceased to be a permanent palace for the French monarchy, which was done away with altogether in 1792. Geof Wheelwright, Travel + Leisure, 5 Jan. 2024 The absence of equal rights for millions of Palestinians was no impediment to the normalization deals brokered by the Trump administration between Israel and a clutch of Arab monarchies. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 Opinion: What King Charles’ cancer diagnosis means for the modern monarchy. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 The historian added that the palace’s moves on Monday show that Charles wants a more modern monarchy. Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024 Charles took the throne intending to preside over a slimmer monarchy with fewer senior royals carrying out ceremonial public duties. Sylvia Hui, Danica Kirka, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Feb. 2024 The most popular political party in Thailand won its following last year, and the ire of the conservative establishment, by campaigning to end military rule and to weaken the draconian law that prohibits criticism of the country’s monarchy. Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monarchy.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near monarchy

Cite this Entry

“Monarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mon·​ar·​chy ˈmän-ər-kē How to pronounce monarchy (audio)
plural monarchies
: total rule by one person
: a nation or country ruled by a monarch
: a form of government having a chief of state who inherits the position, rules for life, and holds powers varying from very limited to total
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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