From Old French monarchie, from Late Latin monarchia, from Ancient Greek μοναρχία (monarkhía), from μόνος (mónos, “only”) + ἀρχή (arkhḗ, “power, authority”). Surface analysis: mon- (“one”, “single”) + -archy (“rule”, “command”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmɒnəki/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɑnɚki/
Audio (US) (file)
- Hyphenation: mon‧ar‧chy
- A government in which sovereignty is embodied within a single, today usually hereditary head of state (whether as a figurehead or as a powerful ruler).
- An absolute monarchy is a monarchy where the monarch is legally the ultimate authority in all temporal matters.
- A constitutional monarchy is a monarchy in which the monarch's power is legally constrained, ranging from where minor concessions have been made to appease certain factions to where the monarch is a figurehead with all real power in the hands of a legislative body.
- The territory ruled over by a monarch; a kingdom.
- c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene iv]:
- What scourge for perjury / Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?
- A form of government where sovereignty is embodied by a single ruler in a state and his high aristocracy representing their separate divided lands within the state and their low aristocracy representing their separate divided fiefs.
- States based on a system of governance headed by a king or a queen.
Historically refers to a wide variety of systems with a single, nominally absolute ruler (compare autocracy, dictatorship), today primarily refers to and connotes a traditional, hereditary position, often with mainly symbolic power. Typically used of rulers who use the terms king/queen or emperor/empress.