Definition of anarchy in US English:

anarchy

noun

  • 1A state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority.

    ‘he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy’
    • ‘We cannot afford to have such traffic anarchy and chaos on our roads.’
    • ‘If the politicians don't come up with a fairer alternative to the current system, then anarchy is what we'll have.’
    • ‘This is cultural chaos and online anarchy in the service of the baying mob.’
    • ‘If not repaired now it may become irreparable, and there is the danger of anarchy and chaos in India too.’
    • ‘Fail to control domestic anarchy and the economy becomes a laughing stock.’
    • ‘This shift, from control to anarchy, also extended to Meirelles' directions for his actors.’
    • ‘Clowns are, in a sense, anarchic, but they also have to be sensitive as to where they create anarchy and chaos.’
    • ‘He kept a diary of the events of the next 14 months as a first-hand witness to the chaos and anarchy of the Russian Revolution.’
    • ‘David Bedein paints a picture of growing anarchy and chaos as Abbas steadily loses control.’
    • ‘The very idea of being able to control anarchy denies its nature.’
    • ‘What does it mean that there is anarchy in the international system?’
    • ‘Iraq is not a problem because of guerrillas, but because of anarchy and lawlessness.’
    • ‘When you have people losing trust in the system it leads to anarchy.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a revolutionary insurrection by a disaffected Kentish mob threatens to bring anarchy to London.’
    • ‘He thought that if this system crumbled then anarchy and tyranny would prevail.’
    • ‘The emerging system may look like anarchy to us, and it certainly looked like chaos to all the old civil servants in Germany.’
    • ‘I am not quite sure why it has avoided sliding into anarchy - the controls seem very lax.’
    • ‘Consider the unprecedented scenes of anarchy and chaos that engulfed Britain last Monday night.’
    • ‘Rebels advanced on the capital which erupted in anarchy and mayhem as armed gangs looted and fought each other on the streets.’
    • ‘There was anarchy, chaos, gangs of armed and brutal thugs, panic, starvation and horror.’
    lawlessness, absence of government, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, riot, rebellion, mutiny, disorder, disorganization, misrule, chaos, tumult, turmoil, mayhem, pandemonium
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.
      • ‘In hundreds of pages they endeavoured to show just how democratic centralised Soviet anarchy was supposed to be.’
      • ‘On Tocqueville's account, then, freedom of association and a free press do not promote anarchy.’
      • ‘Opposed is the apparent liberalism, individualism and anarchy on offer in a postmodern world.’
      • ‘He presumably wants public anarchy funded by socialist tyranny, but that is another issue.’
      • ‘As ways of organising a society go, I can only justify democracy and anarchy.’
      • ‘To adherents of realism, anarchy is the defining feature of relations among states.’
      • ‘The economic anarchy of capitalist society is the real source of the evil.’
      • ‘Many suppose that tyranny and anarchy are at opposite ends of a linear spectrum.’
      • ‘In his book, Max Barry seems to be making the point that anarchy is not freedom.’
      • ‘In other words, international anarchy based on sovereign states is a system of freedom for groups.’
      • ‘Maybe anarchy is the only way, in moral if not practical terms.’
      • ‘Or maybe Dr. Chaos really is the last hope of anarchy, and it's all a big lizard plot?’
      • ‘Now the human rights dilemmas of the twenty-first century proceed more from anarchy than from tyranny.’
      • ‘Under this bill, anything you'd write or say in favor of anarchy could land you to up to ten years in prison.’
      • ‘I think direct democracy or anarchy may in fact be more subject to abuse than the representative type of democracies held up as the ideal now.’
      • ‘It means seizing the factories and offices with the aim of replacing the anarchy of the capitalist market by democratic planning.’
      • ‘There are only two alternatives to a fair election, anarchy or dictatorship.’
      • ‘This law never came into being as even the Nazi leaders realised that this law would create social anarchy.’
      • ‘It kinda seems an oxymoron but thinking about it, isn't anarchy just extreme liberalism?’
      • ‘If the world is thought of in terms of anarchy then power politics will be seen as the solution to the problem of insecurity.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos, from an- ‘without’ + arkhos ‘chief, ruler’.

Pronunciation

anarchy

/ˈænərki//ˈanərkē/