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 The university’s alumni association planned multiple events to celebrate Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, including a discussion of British monarchy by professors over tea and biscuits. Elyssa Cherney,, 7 June 2021 A 21st century viewpoint, on the other hand, sees the British monarchy as an intangible — a brand. Robert Zafft, Forbes, 24 May 2021 The moment marked a groundbreaking milestone, serving to largely undermine the once-unshakeable bounds of archaic, Eurocentric Western tradition notoriously upheld within the British monarchy. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 May 2021 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ongoing issues with the rest of the royal family could have a huge impact on the future of the monarchy. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, 24 Apr. 2021 While no one is calling yet for the monarchy’s abolition, some are urging that its power be shrunk, and wonder openly whether Abdullah is the right person at the helm. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2021 Support for the monarchy as an institution remains high in the U.K. NBC News, 15 Apr. 2021 The theatre of monarchy is not primarily a theatre of works performed and duties fulfilled. The Economist, 15 Apr. 2021 Prince Philip, who died on Friday, spent over seven decades supporting Queen Elizabeth II during a turbulent reign for the thousand-year-old monarchy and attending more than 20,000 royal engagements. The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Apr. 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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Statistics for monarchy

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 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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