anarchy

[ an-er-kee ]
/ ˈæn ər ki /

noun

a state of society without government or law.
political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.
lack of obedience to an authority; insubordination: the anarchy of his rebellious teenage years.
confusion and disorder: Intellectual and moral anarchy followed his loss of faith. It was impossible to find the book I was looking for in the anarchy of his bookshelves.

Origin of anarchy

1530–40; (< Middle French anarchie or Medieval Latin anarchia) < Greek, anarchía lawlessness, literally, lack of a leader, equivalent to ánarch(os) leaderless (an- an-1 + arch(ós) leader + -os adj. suffix) + -ia -y3
Related formshy·per·an·ar·chy, nounpro·an·ar·chy, adjective
Can be confusedanarchism anarchy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anarchy

British Dictionary definitions for anarchy

anarchy

/ (ˈænəkɪ) /

noun

general lawlessness and disorder, esp when thought to result from an absence or failure of government
the absence or lack of government
the absence of any guiding or uniting principle; disorder; chaos
the theory or practice of political anarchism

Derived Formsanarchic (ænˈɑːkɪk) or anarchical, adjectiveanarchically, adverb

Word Origin for anarchy

C16: from Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos without a ruler, from an- + arkh- leader, from arkhein to rule
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