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1. government by an individual with unrestricted authority
2. the unrestricted authority of such an individual
3. a country, society, etc., ruled by an autocrat


rule by one person, especially arbitrary or absolute rule. Compare ABSOLUTISM.



a form of government involving the unlimited and unchecked sovereignty of one individual in a state. The despotic monarchies of the ancient East, the tyrannical governments in some ancient Greek states, the Roman and Byzantine empires, and absolute monarchies of recent times were autocracies. The notion of autocracy was also used to designate unlimited authority in any given sphere of state activity. In contemporary literature, the notion of autocracy also designates political regimes characterized by the supreme power of a “leader” (Führer, duce, caudillo) who is not controlled by representative organs.


References in periodicals archive ?
In this regard his discussion of the waving drapery and idealized physiognomy of the bust of Francesco I d'Este (1650/51) and of Louis XIV (1665) as visual expressions of the new concept of the absolute ruler floating above his subjects is exemplary.
At the other extreme, the person elected is seen as being the absolute ruler of the city with total control over all activities, including the budget.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "dictator" as "an absolute ruler of a state.
Hitler was the absolute ruler of an immensely powerful country, while Ahmadinejad is but one leader of a second- or third-ranking state.
After a brief visit to Beslan on September 5, 2004, where Chechen terrorists killed 350 children, teachers and parents in a raid on a primary school, Vladimir Putin gave himself new powers which resemble those of an absolute ruler.
He goes from a confident, absolute ruler to a gibbering patient strapped in a straitjacket and parted from his beloved wife.
This unique documentary profiles Kim Jong Il, absolute ruler of North Korea, and potentially one of the most dangerous men in power today.
He became Peru's absolute ruler, made made many enemies, and was assassinated in 1541.
As someone who became fully formed in the faith at Vatican II, I could not believe a high Vatican official was still speaking of the pope as an absolute ruler, much less say he is accountable only to Jesus.
Karimov, who is an absolute ruler, will consolidate his reputation and his position within the country.
Bashar is guided by a coterie of old guard leaders who had positions of power when his father, former president Hafez Al Assad, was the absolute ruler of Syria.
The different types of kingship in northern and southern Israel are very aptly described: the fact that Saul's kingship had been founded on a treaty explains the instability of the northern kingdom of Israel, whereas David's having been an absolute ruler helps us understand the stability in the kingdom of Judah as a result of the dynastic principle (p.