Definitions

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

  • n. One who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right, especially:
  • n. A sole and absolute ruler.
  • n. A sovereign, such as a king or empress, often with constitutionally limited authority: a constitutional monarch.
  • n. One that commands or rules: "I am monarch of all I survey” ( William Cowper).
  • n. One that surpasses others in power or preeminence: "Mont Blanc is the monarch of the mountains” ( Byron).
  • n. A monarch butterfly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ruler of an absolute monarchy or the head of state of a constitutional monarchy.
  • n. The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, found in North America, so called because of the designs on its wings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Superior to others; preëminent; supreme; ruling.
  • n. A sole or supreme ruler; a sovereign; the highest ruler; an emperor, king, queen, prince, or chief.
  • n. One superior to all others of the same kind.
  • n. A patron deity or presiding genius.
  • n. A very large red and black butterfly (Danais Plexippus); -- called also milkweed butterfly and monarch butterfly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The chief of a monarchy; a supreme governor for life, entitled variously emperor (or empress), king (or queen), czar (or czarina), sultan, shah, etc.; primarily, a sole or autocratic ruler of a state, but in modern times generally a hereditary sovereign with more or less limited powers. See monarchy.
  • n. Any possessor of absolute power or superiority; one who or that which holds a dominating or preëminent position, literally or figuratively: as, the oak is the monarch of the forest.
  • n. Synonyms King, etc. (see prince), potentate, autocrat, despot.

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

  • n. large migratory American butterfly having deep orange wings with black and white markings; the larvae feed on milkweed
  • n. a nation's ruler or head of state usually by hereditary right

Etymologies

Middle English monarke, from Old French monarque, from Late Latin monarcha, from Greek monarkhos : mono-, mono- + arkhein, to rule.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin monarchia, from Ancient Greek μονάρχης (monarchēs), variant of μόναρχος (monarchos, "sole ruler"), from 'μόνος (monos, "only") + ἀρχός (archos, "leader"). (Wiktionary)

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