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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
How did the years of autocratic rule within the auspices of the USSR affect the relative economic performance of the former Soviet republics in the 1990s?
nurture conundrum: Are the Russian people uniquely predisposed to brutal autocratic rule? Why did so many Russian rulers take hesitant steps toward political reform only to revert back?
"We want to see an implementation of past resolutions and further sanctions against this terrorist government" Netsreab Asmelash from theEritrean National Commission for Democratic Change said, adding "we are calling for support from the international community to depose this autocratic rule which is a threat to regional and global security".
Protesters are celebrating in Egypt as Hosni Mubarak steps down as president, ending three decades of autocratic rule.
During 23 years of Ben Ali's autocratic rule, Tunisia was a usually placid destination known for wide open beaches and ruins, and was a favoured getaway for Europeans seeking the Mediterranean sun and shore.
Banerjee said on Friday she called the trip off to spend more time with West Bengal's poor and helpless people who were being targeted by the " Left Front's autocratic rule".
Qin Shihuangdi remains a controversial figure in Chinese history; his autocratic rule was heavily marked by tyranny and bloodshed, yet he set in place innovations that modernized and unified a country left fragmented by the Warring States period.
Let the country be a place that can accommodate everyone,'' the former king, whose autocratic rule ended after 19 days of peaceful protests led by Koirala, said.
"It is up to us to end this autocratic rule," Muhammad Bazoum, a leader of the opposition Coordination of Democratic Forces for the Republic (CFDR), told the rally.
Radovan Karadzic assumed Mr Dabic's identity as a cover during the autocratic rule of his mentor Slobodan Milosevic, officials said yesterday as they promised to track down anyone who helped the Bosnian Serb warlord stay on the run from genocide charges for nearly 13 years.
Discounting the murshidats as "civil servants who serve as window dressing for the King's agenda," she rejects the autocratic rule of the Monarchy and its pro-western orientation.
While a senior colleague who knew him during the era of his autocratic rule of Celtic, told me he could not imagine Jock Stein letting Boruc away with such shenanigans.