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

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 George V was soon convinced that receiving his cousin in Britain, along with the tsar’s allegedly pro-German wife, would not only compromise the national interest but harm the British monarchy. The Economist, "How the royal houses of Europe abandoned the Romanovs," 28 June 2018 For Americans, following royal characters has none of the complications of politics or responsibility for the monarchy's costs. Autumn Brewington,, "5 myths about the British royals," 14 May 2018 With upcoming babies and weddings adding new royals left and right, the British monarchy's very extended family tree keeps growing new branches. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Who Are Camilla Parker Bowles's Children?," 12 Apr. 2018 Officials to decide on behalf of royals Prosecutors would be able to file criminal suits on the monarchy's behalf against any person deemed to have insulted the royal family. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "It's now a crime to insult this country's monarchy," 14 Feb. 2018 But few know Iolani Palace -- America's only royal residence -- has relied in part on the generosity of a descendant of that family while the relic of the monarchy's rule now serves as a museum. CBS News, "Hawaii's "last princess," 91, fights for control of her fortune," 1 Feb. 2018 France and Spain, like Britain, were monarchies with even less fondness for democracy. Alice George, Smithsonian, "The American Revolution Was Just One Battlefront in a Huge World War," 28 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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Statistics for monarchy

Last Updated

13 Nov 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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Comments on monarchy

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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