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[aw-tok-ruh-see] /ɔˈtɒk rə si/
noun, plural autocracies.
government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others; the government or power of an absolute monarch.
a nation, state, or community ruled by an autocrat.
unlimited authority, power, or influence of one person in any group.
Origin of autocracy
1645-55; < Greek autokráteia power over oneself, sole power, equivalent to autokrat(ḗs) autocrat + -eia -ia; see -cracy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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


noun (pl) -cies
government by an individual with unrestricted authority
the unrestricted authority of such an individual
a country, society, etc, ruled by an autocrat
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
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Word Origin and History for autocracy

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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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.)

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