[mon-erk, -ahrk]
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  1. a hereditary sovereign, as a king, queen, or emperor.
  2. a sole and absolute ruler of a state or nation.
  3. a person or thing that holds a dominant position: a monarch of international shipping.
  4. monarch butterfly.

Origin of monarch

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin monarcha < Greek monárchēs sole ruler; see mon-, -arch
Related formsan·ti·mon·arch, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of monarch

British Dictionary definitions for monarch


  1. a sovereign head of state, esp a king, queen, or emperor, who rules usually by hereditary right
  2. a supremely powerful or pre-eminent person or thing
  3. Also called: milkweed a large migratory butterfly, Danaus plexippus, that has orange-and-black wings and feeds on the milkweed plant: family Danaidae
Derived Formsmonarchal (mɒˈnɑːkəl) or monarchial (mɒˈnɑːkɪəl), adjectivemonarchally, adverbmonarchical or monarchic, adjectivemonarchically, adverbmonarchism, nounmonarchist, noun, adjectivemonarchistic, adjective

Word Origin for monarch

C15: from Late Latin monarcha, from Greek; see mono-, -arch
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 monarch

mid-15c., from Middle French monarque (14c.) or directly from Late Latin monarcha, from Greek monarkhes "one who rules alone" (see monarchy). As a type of large butterfly, from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper