Definition of autocracy in English:


Syllabification: au·toc·ra·cy
Pronunciation: /ôˈtäkrəsē

noun (plural autocracies)

  • 1A system of government by one person with absolute power.
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    • It is generally customary to consider the doctrine largely in connection with those states which have been proponents of power, autocracy, and absolutism.
    • Generations of people around the world have endured autocracy and dictatorship, totalitarianism, fascism, monarchy, oligarchy and even anarchy without knowing freedom.
    • What they all had in common was that they weren't particularly democratic, being variations either on autocracy or on bureaucratic totalitarianism.
  • 1.1A country, state, or society governed by one person with absolute power.
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    • As compelling as the development-first thesis sounds, the empirical evidence is clear: democracies consistently outperform autocracies in the developing world.
    • Aid agencies subsidized the worst collectivist autocracies, underwriting the very policies responsible for Third World poverty.
    • We are at risk of becoming an autocracy in three key respects.
  • 1.2Domineering rule or control: a boss who shifts between autocracy, persuasion, and consultation
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    • Economic liberalization and behind the scenes military autocracy combined with a localistic nationalism became an influential new model.
    • The defining battle of our era is to reestablish citizen rule over our government, our economy, our environment, and our society - and this requires the defeat of today's corporate autocracy.
    • We in the Western nations long ago recognized autocracy in the public sector as poison, no matter how well-meaning the autocrat might be.


mid 17th century (in the sense 'autonomy'): from Greek autokrateia, from autokratēs (see autocrat).

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