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 Yet recent polling in Canada shows many now want to cut ties with the monarchy and follow Barbados’ recent lead in becoming a republic. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 29 May 2022 Pelt and his colleagues concluded that a constitutional monarchy would be the most effective way of uniting three regions and more than 100 tribes. Mohammed El-senussi, WSJ, 16 June 2022 That’s not fair, of course, but the monarchy is unfairness personified and glorified, long to reign over us. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 The monarchy has been the custodian of the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites since 1924 and sees itself as the guarantor of the religious rights of Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem and the integrity of their holy sites. Zeena Saifi, CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 Of course, the monarchy’s survival is in the interests of not just the Windsors and their more loyal subjects but also the media. Charles Arrowsmith, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 In 2008, Nepal abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and became a democratic republic. New York Times, 15 July 2022 Napoleon III took a lease on the property in 1847 after escaping imprisonment in France for staging a coup against the Bourbon monarchy, according to Wetherell. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 14 July 2022 Many Hawaiians grew up not knowing about Hawaiian concepts of mahu or the stones because the American businessmen who overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 banned Hawaiian language instruction in schools and discouraged speaking it in homes. Audrey Mcavoy, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of monarchy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Learn More About monarchy

Time Traveler for monarchy

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near monarchy




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for monarchy

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Monarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for monarchy


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!