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 His decision to leave the country during a clutch of financial-corruption investigations is now seen here as a desperate move to save the reputation of Spain’s monarchy. Sabela Ojea, WSJ, "Flight of Former King Raises Pressure to Reform Spain’s Monarchy," 4 Aug. 2020 The monarchy, however, remains an untouchable institution, protected from criticism by strict lese majeste laws. Tassanee Vejpongsa, Star Tribune, "Royalists in Thailand rally against pro-democracy protesters," 30 July 2020 The Historic Royal Palaces is a charity, independent from the monarchy, that tends after Kensington Palace, the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, and more royal residences. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Diana's Iconic "John Travolta Dress" to be Displayed at Kensington Palace," 30 July 2020 BabyCenter says anything to do with the English monarchy gives those names a royal bump. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "These Are the Most Popular Baby Names of 2020," 9 July 2020 Harry retaining his honorary military titles, being able to officially represent the monarchy moving forward, etc. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Financial Freedom Was "A Big Part" of Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Stepped Back from their Royal Roles," 26 May 2020 The presidential power to pardon is a holdover from British monarchy. Noah Feldman, The Denver Post, "Feldman: Presidential pardons have been a bad idea since 1787," 19 Feb. 2020 Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, the British monarchy's representative in Jamaica, made the announcement on Friday. Joseph Netto And Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Jamaica's governor-general suspends personal use of royal insignia over 'offending image'," 27 June 2020 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of monarchy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for monarchy

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monarchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on monarchy

What made you want to look up monarchy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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