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See more synonyms for autarchy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural au·tar·chies.
  1. absolute sovereignty.
  2. an autocratic government.
  3. autarky.
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Origin of autarchy

First recorded in 1655–65, autarchy is from the Greek word autarchía self-rule. See aut-, -archy
Related formsau·tar·chic, au·tar·chi·cal, adjectiveau·tar·chi·cal·ly, adverbau·tar·chist, noun


or au·tar·chy

noun, plural au·tar·kies.
  1. the condition of self-sufficiency, especially economic, as applied to a nation.
  2. a national policy of economic independence.
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Origin of autarky

1610–20; < Greek autárkeia, equivalent to aut- aut- + arke- suffice + -ia -ia
Related formsau·tar·kic, au·tar·ki·cal, adjectiveau·tar·ki·cal·ly, adverbau·tar·kist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for autarchy

tyranny, dictatorship, monocracy, autocracy, despotism, totalitarianism

Examples from the Web for autarchy

Historical Examples of autarchy

  • Autarchy proved decreasingly possible as the church tried to extend its involvement.

    The Civilization of Illiteracy

    Mihai Nadin

  • The artistic experience of the civilization of illiteracy is also characterized by impatience and autarchy.

British Dictionary definitions for autarchy


noun plural -chies
  1. unlimited rule; autocracy
  2. self-government; self-rule
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Derived Formsautarchic or autarchical, adjective

Word Origin for autarchy

C17: from Greek autarkhia, from autarkhos autocratic; see auto-, -archy


noun plural -chies
  1. a variant spelling (now rare) of autarky
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noun plural -kies
  1. (esp of a political unit) a system or policy of economic self-sufficiency aimed at removing the need for imports
  2. an economically self-sufficient country
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Derived Formsautarkic, adjectiveautarkist, noun

Word Origin for autarky

C17: from Greek autarkeia, from autarkēs self-sufficient, from auto- + arkein to suffice
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 autarchy


1660s, "absolute sovereignty," from Greek autarkhia, from autarkhein "to be an absolute ruler," from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon).

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1610s, "self-sufficiency," from Greek autarkeia "sufficiency in oneself, independence," from autarkes "self-sufficient, having enough, independent of others" (also used of countries), from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkein "to ward off, keep off," also "to be strong enough, sufficient," from PIE root *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane). From a different Greek source than autarchy, and thus the spelling. As a term in international economics, prominent late 1930s. Related: Autarkic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper