from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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

    Matthew Yglesias » Universal Catastrophic Insurance? 2010

  • 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 2009

  • 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 Les McKeown 2011

  • 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 2006

  • 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 1918

  • 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 1915

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

    The Major Ralph Connor 1898

  • 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 1919

  • 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 2009

  • 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 2007


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