Definition of autarch in US English:



  • A ruler who has absolute power.

    ‘he is one of those pitiable petty autarchs who habitually lord it over children and helpless underlings’
    • ‘It's an anarchic assemblage of petty autocracies with numerous additional charismatic nobles advising the autarchs.’
    • ‘Early in his essay, the editor makes it clear that his warning is against all autarchs.’
    • ‘But in the old Citadel in the enormous city, they still exist: two Masters, some journeymen and the apprentices, all locked up in their tower, doing the biddings of the judges and the autarchs, inflicting pain and ending lives.’


Early 19th century: from Greek autarkhos, from autos ‘self’ + arkhos ‘leader’.