Definition of anarchy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈanəki/


[mass noun]
1A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems: he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy
More example sentences
  • When you have people losing trust in the system it leads to anarchy.
  • Fail to control domestic anarchy and the economy becomes a laughing stock.
  • If the politicians don't come up with a fairer alternative to the current system, then anarchy is what we'll have.
lawlessness, absence of government, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, riot, rebellion, mutiny, disorder, disorganization, misrule, chaos, tumult, turmoil, mayhem, pandemonium
2Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.
Example sentences
  • If the world is thought of in terms of anarchy then power politics will be seen as the solution to the problem of insecurity.
  • He presumably wants public anarchy funded by socialist tyranny, but that is another issue.
  • In hundreds of pages they endeavoured to show just how democratic centralised Soviet anarchy was supposed to be.


Mid 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos, from an- 'without' + arkhos 'chief, ruler'.

  • arc from Late Middle English:

    A number of English words comes from Latin arcus ‘a bow, arch, or curve’, among them arc, arcade (late 17th century), and arch (Middle English). Arc was originally a term for the path of the sun or other celestial objects from horizon to horizon. Given the shape of a bow for shooting arrows, it should not be surprising that archer (Middle English) has the same Latin source. Another meaning of arch, ‘chief or principal’ (as in archbishop (Old English) or arch-enemy (mid 16th century)), has a different origin, coming from Greek arkhos ‘a chief or ruler’. This Greek word can also be seen in anarchy (mid 16th century), which literally means ‘the state of having no ruler’, in architect (mid 16th century) from archi and tektōn ‘builder’, and archipelago (early 16th century) from archi and pelagos ‘sea’. This was originally used as a proper name for the Aegean Sea; the general sense ‘group of islands’ arose because the Aegean Sea is remarkable for its large numbers of islands.

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Line breaks: an|archy

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