Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism.
  • n. A country or state that is governed by a single person with unlimited power.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of government in which unlimited power is held by a single individual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Independent or self-derived power; absolute or controlling authority; supremacy.
  • n. Supreme, uncontrolled, unlimited authority, or right of governing in a single person, as of an autocrat.
  • n. Political independence or absolute sovereignty (of a state); autonomy.
  • n. The action of the vital principle, or of the instinctive powers, toward the preservation of the individual; also, the vital principle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The power of determining one's own actions; independent or self-derived power; self-government; self-rule.
  • n. Uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others, invested in a single person; the government or power of an absolute monarch.
  • n. In medicine, action of the vital powers toward the preservation of the individual.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a political theory favoring unlimited authority by a single individual
  • n. a political system governed by a single individual

Etymologies

auto- + -cracy, from Ancient Greek αὐτοκρατής (autokrates, "one who governs alone"), from αὐτός (autos, "single, self, same, alone") + κράτος (kratos, "power"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It might be called "autocracy" in the world of nation-building, and in business it might be called "large market share," but however it's defined, organizations in The Big Rut typically have supra-normal control of their competitive environment.

    Les McKeown: Your Leadership on the Line: Four Business Lessons from National Turmoil

  • Lets not go totalitarian, but a moderate autocracy is ok, so that people have some skin in the game.

    Matthew Yglesias » Universal Catastrophic Insurance?

  • The system of one-party autocracy is so entrenched that the officials can be as corrupt as they want and in turn it creates a top down pyramid of corruption in China.

    Global Voices in English » China: Prostitutes more trustworthy than government officials

  • Hence Russian autocracy is forced into repeated wars for the possession of Constantinople which, in the present condition of the

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • What democracy shall mean to our sons and daughters and to their successors will be determined first in the great battle now raging, in which Prussian autocracy is to be defeated and finally driven from power, and second in the success or failure of a federation of the democracies of the world following that battle.

    Woodrow Wilson and the Doctrine of Sovereignty

  • The war also brings to us this disclosure, that the German autocracy is incapable of interpreting the British genius and understanding the true spirit of democracy.

    Some War Revelations

  • He recognised in German autocracy and in German militarism and in German ambition a menace to the liberties of Europe.

    The Major

  • The theory of autocracy is that power originated at the top; a mythical being known as "Gott" delegated to some favorite, who may be a wise man or a fool-it is about fifty-fifty in history-delegated to this favorite autocratic power, and this gentlemen spreads his power out upon a chosen few, and he and his associates rest squarely upon the masses of men, exploiting the mass of men for and in the interest of the few.

    Democracy or Bolshevism

  • That an organ of NEOconservative opinion would tout Bush’s moves toward torture and autocracy is just a dog-bites-man story. xmzwvcripq Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » A Coda

  • In fact, the high salaries were partially intended to secure the producers 'autocracy, that is, to sooth the itch for artistic autonomy with the balm of wealth.

    Caught in the Crossfire: Adrian Scott and the Politics of Americanism in 1940s Hollywood

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.