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autocracy

[aw-tok-ruh-see]
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noun, plural au·toc·ra·cies.
  1. government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others; the government or power of an absolute monarch.
  2. a nation, state, or community ruled by an autocrat.
  3. unlimited authority, power, or influence of one person in any group.
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Origin of autocracy

1645–55; < Greek autokráteia power over oneself, sole power, equivalent to autokrat(ḗs) autocrat + -eia -ia; see -cracy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for autocracy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For that is the mark of Russian autocracy and of Russian revolt.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • He embodied the whole power of autocracy because he was its guardian.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • Do you suppose Labour will endure the autocracy of the Bolsheviki?

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • And that is autocracy; and autocracy is what you say you oppose!

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Why destroy the autocracy of the capitalist and erect on its ruins the autocracy of the worker?

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers


British Dictionary definitions for autocracy

autocracy

noun plural -cies
  1. government by an individual with unrestricted authority
  2. the unrestricted authority of such an individual
  3. a country, society, etc, ruled by an autocrat
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for autocracy

n.

1650s, "independent power, self-sustained power," from French autocratie, from Greek autokrateia "ruling by oneself," noun of state from autokrates (see autocrat). Meaning "absolute government, supreme political power" is recorded from 1855.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

autocracy in Culture

autocracy

[(aw-tok-ruh-see)]

A system of government in which supreme political power is held by one person. (Compare constitutional monarchy, democracy, and oligarchy.)

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Note

Iraq under Saddam Hussein is an autocracy.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.