- the condition of self-sufficiency, especially economic, as applied to a nation.
- a national policy of economic independence.
Origin of autarky
- (esp of a political unit) a system or policy of economic self-sufficiency aimed at removing the need for imports
- an economically self-sufficient country
Word Origin and History for autarky
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.