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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


rule by one person, especially arbitrary or absolute rule. Compare ABSOLUTISM.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover, there were regions of the sub-continent that remained under the independent absolute rulers (Maharajas), particularly in the Himalayan foothills and the Punjab, who were for the most part, Hindu.
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.
The exhibition included Ottinger's photographs from the sets and locations of her early and transitional films, from Madame X: An Absolute Ruler, an extravagant lesbian sci-fi pirate adventure, to Johanna D'Arc of Mongolia, 1989 (which showed in the back room of the gallery), a riveting travelogue that charts the adventures of a group of Western women who are abducted from the TransSiberian Railway by a renegade band of Mongolian females.
Petersburg Times to what is now called the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and installed his chosen successor, Eugene Patterson, as the absolute ruler of the paper.
The standard history text used in every Soviet high school up until a few years ago had ten lines about Stalin--the man who was absolute ruler of the country for twenty-five years.
"With the President acting as an absolute ruler and delivering abusive, accusative and offensive words without basis, it is high time that the judiciary should and must serve as check and balance to the President," he added.
But Germany found - and the Chinese are discovering - that the mere prospect of being able to displace the dominant global power as the absolute ruler of the seas turns adventurous minds to dangerous temptations.
Bolkiah has been an absolute ruler since 1967 and amended the country's constitution to make himself infallible in 2006.
Eight thousand soldiers, 130 horses, plus chariots and cavalry formed a tribute worthy for an absolute ruler. His funeral chamber at Mount Li also featured rivers of the metal liquid Mercury.
With the Saudi-led Sunni front now active in support for Shi'ite Arab communities opposed to Safawism and Khamenei's Wilayat ul-Faqih (WuF) concept, which means he represents God on Earth and thus acts as an absolute ruler in Iran, Najaf-based Grand Ayatullah Ali al-Sistani is heading a campaign against Shi'ite involvement in the Syrian war.
The same applies to the supreme leader, who, despite his title, is not an absolute ruler.
Morsi took advantage of the United States' praise for the role he played in mediating between Israel and the Hamas movement to reach a ceasefire, as well as of the support of "Arab Spring" leaders, Turks and Arabs, to set himself up as absolute ruler. The mild reaction in the West in general, and in the US in particular, came as no surprise.