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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 ?
Yet just as a number of exceptions and qualifications mitigate Hobbes's political absolutism (Q.
Though remote, the recently created Viceroyalty of the River Plate shared sociocultural traits typical of the continent dominated by Spain: political absolutism, mercantilism, disregard for the law, religious uniformity, xenophobia, and social stratification.
The renewed political absolutism will no doubt have its impact on the Orthodox Church whose Patriarch has acted all along as the head of a department of state as has been the historical tradition in Russia, especially from Peter the Great (1672-1725) onu'ards.