mon·​ar·​chy | \ ˈmä-nər-kē also -ˌnär- How to pronounce monarchy (audio) \
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

Charles is the oldest and longest-serving heir in British history, and this is a big deal for the monarchy. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Why The Queen Giving Camilla a Shoutout in Her Birthday Tribute to Prince Charles Is a Big Deal," 14 Nov. 2018 Built in 1882, the palace served as the home of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani—the last ruling royalty in Hawaii before the monarchy was overthrown. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities In America and Why You Should Visit," 18 Oct. 2018 Frank Prochaska has been rightly lauded for this engaging analysis of the evolution of the modern monarchy. WSJ, "Five Best: Robert Hardman on the Making of the Modern Monarchy," 25 Jan. 2019 In 1996, a violent Communist insurgency ravaged the country; over the next 10 years, some 17,000 people were killed, with civil war finally putting an end to the incumbent government and 240 years of the troubled Nepali monarchy. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018 Perhaps the release of this photo was another big step—excluding herself to show the world the faces of the new monarchy. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why the Queen Wasn't in Prince Charles' 70th Birthday Royal Family Photo," 13 Nov. 2018 Many have suggested that the duchess's aversion to the bling might be another facet of her love for high street style and dedication to making the monarchy feel modern and approachable. Glamour, "Kate Middleton Has Only Worn a Tiara Seven Times—See Them All Here," 23 Oct. 2018 The Computer Crime Act has been used to prosecute people for posting about the country's monarchy or political issues but rarely for purely criminal cases. Fox News, "Thai police arrest 12 for sharing Facebook rape allegation," 6 Sep. 2018 The Habsburgs of Austria and the Bourbons of French sparred over control of the Spanish monarchy, and in their support of the Habsburgs, Catalonia ended up backing the wrong horse. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Beyond the Headlines, Catalan Culture Has a Long History of Vibrancy and Staying Power," 25 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

6 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for monarchy

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

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More Definitions for monarchy



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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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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