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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 ?
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?
They serve to corroborate LeVine's thesis that "in Putin's Russia the state cannot be counted on to protect the lives of its citizens," and, more pointedly, that the country is on a "visible slide toward autocratic rule.
The assault on Deir Al Zor, capital of a restive oil-producing province, began exactly a week after Assad sent the army to seize control of the city of Hama, a focal point of nearly five months of protest against his autocratic rule.
Moreover, dictatorships are not just about the dictators, who typically have the support of the military, a mass party, a group of clans, recipients of patronage, and all those who keep order, collect taxes, oversee or participate in the economy, and otherwise benefit from autocratic rule.
Speaking through his lawyers, Ben Ali denied the charges against him and mounted a defense of his time in office, which many Tunisians say was marked by autocratic rule, corruption and abuses of human rights.
They began attacking villages and burning crops in a scorched-earth policy designed to break the will of the local residents who had participated in protests demanding democracy an end to Assad's autocratic rule.
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".
About 40 Irish nationals in Libya are seeking to leave the troubled north African state as violent protests over Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year autocratic rule escalate.
Protesters are celebrating in Egypt as Hosni Mubarak steps down as president, ending three decades of 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.
If the local council is serious about opposing this autocratic rule then they should have the courage to refuse to implement it and put the matter to a referendum of all the people of the borough.
However, Dave Bing has attempted to establish autocratic rule over the City of Detroit, placing his own ideas above the law, above the rights of working families, and above question by the voters and taxpayers," continued McNeil.