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From New Latin anarchia, from Ancient Greek ἀναρχία (anarkhía).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæn.ə.ki/
    • (file)
  • (US) enPR: ănʹär-kē, IPA(key): /ˈæn.ɑɹ.ki/, [ˈɛən.ɑɹ.ki]
    • (file)


anarchy (countable and uncountable, plural anarchies)

  1. (uncountable) The state of a society being without authorities or an authoritative governing body.
  2. (uncountable) Anarchism; the political theory that a community is best organized by the voluntary cooperation of individuals, rather than by a government, which is regarded as being coercive by nature.
  3. (countable) A chaotic and confusing absence of any form of political authority or government.
    • 1853, Leon Faucher, “IV.”, in Thomson Hankey, transl., Remarks on the Production of the Precious Metals, and on the Demonetization of Gold in Several Countries in Europe[1], 2nd revised edition, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., →OCLC, page 50:
      Anarchy still reigns in this new country;—not only have the miners to defend their persons and their acquisitions against the incursions from Indian tribes; not only are crimes and offences common (lynch law maintaining a permitted existence instead of laws and police); but every one appears to hold his property by right of first comer: a miner choses the spot he likes best; a strong arm and a carbine, with a steady eye, are his title deeds. To seize upon a rich "placer" from a miner too weak to resist, is called in the slang of the district, to "jump a claim." The President of the United States himself, stated in his last message, that "The mineral lands should remain free to every citizen;" and the Secretary of State has added, "that the right of occupancy should be submitted only to such laws as the miners themselves thought fit to make."
  4. Confusion in general; disorder.
    It was total anarchy in the clothes shop on Black Friday as soon as they opened the doors.



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