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

San Antonio was founded by Spanish Franciscan missionaries, backed by the Spanish monarchy and government, during the colonization of New Spain. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Spanish royals’ itinerary in San Antonio: history, art and, of course, food," 15 June 2018 While Harry's bride sees a chance to use ethnicity to reboot the magic of the monarchy, Trump has more often used diversity to divide. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand," 21 May 2018 Other traditions also remained, such as tabloid-style coverage of the monarchy. Lorraine Ali,, "A royal wedding TV spectacle where the new world met the old and showed a rethinking of the monarchy," 19 May 2018 Hundreds of millions have transitioned from fully authoritarian monarchies (throughout Europe, Central Asia and parts of East Asia) and pure dictatorships (Latin America, the Balkans, the Levant and parts of Africa). James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 The Japanese monarchy is thought to be the oldest in the world, and legislators are attempting to modernize it. Maura Hohman,, "Second Japanese Princess in 2 Years Will Marry a Commoner, Leave Royal Family," 26 June 2018 Not long after, the monarchies fell, with the changes evaporating into the ether. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "Driving Toward Change," 23 June 2018 The new law also dovetails with the monarchy’s ambitious economic changes that aim to wean Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer, from dependence on oil and to diversify the economy — shifts that require women to be workers and consumers. Margaret Coker, New York Times, "Saudi Women Can Drive, but Here’s the Real Roadblock," 22 June 2018 They have been accused of having conspired against the monarchy by desiring to carve a separate state out of the region of Hijaz, according to people familiar with the matter. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Arabian Arrest Wave Shows Crown Prince’s Bid to Control Change," 5 June 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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Phrases Related to monarchy

constitutional monarchy

Statistics for monarchy

Last Updated

18 Sep 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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