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 These shifting relationships appear to have prompted the Jordanian monarchy to circumvent the White House in their bid to prevent annexation and appeal directly to Republican and Democratic US lawmakers. Jomana Karadsheh And Ghazi Balkiz, CNN, "Why West Bank annexation poses an existential threat to Jordan," 1 July 2020 The king stopped short of a formal apology, Belgian lawmakers said, because that would be considered a political act that can be authorized only by the Belgian government under the rules of the country’s constitutional monarchy. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Amid anti-racism protests, Belgian king expresses regrets to Congo for colonial brutality," 30 June 2020 Mr Preston begins with an earlier restoration of the monarchy, in 1876, and the creation by Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, a conservative statesman, of a civilian democracy based on electoral manipulation by corrupt caciques (political bosses). The Economist, "Too many setbacks A historian sets out to explain Spain’s tumultuous past," 20 June 2020 By the time Punch arrived in England, Cromwell had died, and monarchy had been restored in the form of Charles II, who ushered in a new era of creativity. Anne Cohen,, "Judy & Punch Reimagines A Children’s Puppet Show Where The Hero Beats His Wife To Death," 8 June 2020 Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, an activist from the same political circle who spent seven years in prison for the crime of insulting the monarchy, gave The Associated Press a secondhand account of Thursday’s incident. Time, "Rights Group Says Thai Dissident Was Abducted From the Street in Front of His Apartment," 5 June 2020 Its members advertise satirical services to lampoon the monarchy. The Economist, "Voice of treason The Thai government tries new ways to curb online critics," 4 June 2020 Abdullah al-Hamid, an intellectual and human-rights activist whose calls for reforming Saudi Arabia’s monarchy made him one of the kingdom’s most prominent and persistent dissidents and led to frequent prison terms, died on April 24 in detention. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "Abdullah al-Hamid, Saudi Dissident, Dies in Detention at 69," 21 May 2020 The Great weaves this fact and fiction together giving us a peek into the Russian monarchy and no one is safe from a little embellishment of their real-life character. Rachel Paige,, "Meet The Characters Bringing Hulu’s Mostly True Story The Great To Life," 15 May 2020

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

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for monarchy


How to pronounce monarchy (audio)

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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