mon·​ar·​chy | \ˈmä-nər-kē 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

Under the British monarchy, courtiers paid kings for the privilege to fine. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Fines and Punishment," 29 Nov. 2018 Since moving from Belgium to London 17 years ago, the mother of two has developed a deep fascination with the British monarchy. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "A Guest at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Wedding Reveals What You Didn't See On Camera," 12 Oct. 2018 His murder has intensified international scrutiny of Prince Mohammed, leading to an outpouring of criticism from the kingdom’s Western allies and straining ties between the monarchy and the Trump administration. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Accused of Torturing Women’s-Rights Activists in Widening Crackdown on Dissent," 20 Nov. 2018 In other words, the founders thought the surest route to dictatorship or monarchy would be to allow presidents to wage wars on their own. Alex Ward, Vox, "This historian spent 10 years researching wartime presidents. Trump scares him the most.," 5 Nov. 2018 Heaping too much praise on the monarchy and framing their decision as progressive glosses over the history of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia., "Women Can Finally Drive In Saudi Arabia, But They're Far From Liberated," 24 June 2018 Written in 1976, the drama centers on three radical sects during the tumultuous period in the seventeenth century between the toppling of the monarchy and the Restoration. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Finding America’s Present in England’s Revolutionary Past," 27 Apr. 2018 There will always be photographs sent around the world and at the end of the day, her style choice is a reflection on the British monarchy. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "There’s another royal wedding coming up: Princess Eugenie’s," 5 Oct. 2018 So having Harry, a British royal himself, poke fun at his own monarchy was all the better. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry Sings Onstage After Seeing Hamilton with Meghan Markle," 29 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for monarchy

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for monarchy

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

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on monarchy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with monarchy

Spanish Central: Translation of monarchy

Nglish: Translation of monarchy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monarchy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about monarchy

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