[ aw-tok-ruh-see ]
/ ɔˈtɒk rə si /

noun, plural au·toc·ra·cies.

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.

Nearby words

  1. autocollimation,
  2. autocollimator,
  3. autocomplete,
  4. autocorrect,
  5. autocorrelation,
  6. autocrat,
  7. autocratic,
  8. autocrine,
  9. autocrine hypothesis,
  10. autocross

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for autocracy

British Dictionary definitions for autocracy


/ (ɔːˈtɒkrəsɪ) /

noun plural -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

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

Culture definitions for 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.)


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.