Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Systems of government and types of government

absolutism

noun

a system of government in which one leader has complete power and authority over a country and its citizens

anarchy

noun

a situation in which there is no government or no social control in a country

autarky

noun

a form of government in which one person has complete power

autocracy

noun

a form of government or management in which one person has complete power

autonomy

noun

a situation in which a state, region, or organization is independent and has the power to govern itself

banana republic

noun

an insulting word for a tropical country that is considered to have a weak economy, a dishonest or cruel government, and public services that do not work

big government

noun

government that seems to have too much control over people’s lives

caretaker government

noun

a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected

centralism

noun

a way of controlling a country, company etc in which the main authority comes from one central group of people

coalition

noun

a temporary union of different political parties that agree to form a government together

colonialism

noun

a situation in which one country rules another

communism

noun

a political and economic system in which individual people cannot own property or industries and in which people of all social classes are treated equally

corporatism

noun

a political and economic system in which planning and policy are controlled by large groups such as businesses, trade unions, and central government

the Crown

noun

the government of a country that has a king or queen

democracy

noun

a system of government in which people vote in elections to choose the people who will govern them

democracy

noun

a system of running a business or organization in which everyone can vote and share in making decisions

dictatorship

noun

government by someone who takes power by force and does not allow elections

e-government

noun

the use of the Internet by government, for example to give information to the public or to allow people to vote from their computer

estate

noun

an old word for each of the three groups of people involved in governing a country: the nobility, the clergy, and ordinary people

federalism

noun

a federal political system

gov

abbreviation

government

governance

noun

the process of governing a country or organization

government

noun

relating to a government, especially a national government

govt

abbreviation

government

hegemony

noun

political control or influence, especially by one country over other countries

home rule

noun

a form of government in which people have control in their own country, rather than being controlled by another country or empire

interregnum

noun

a period of time when there is temporarily no one in charge of a country or large organization

kleptocracy

noun

a form of corrupt government that allows the ruling class to accumulate great wealth and power while neglecting the mass of citizens

mandate

noun

the authority given to a country to rule another country or region

martial law

noun

direct control of a country or area by the armed forces

matriarchy

noun

a family, community, or society that is ruled by women, especially one in which women also own and control property

minority government

noun

a government in which the main party has more members than any other single party but not more members than all the other parties together

misrule

noun

bad government of a country

monarchy

noun

a type of government in which a country is ruled by a king or queen

nanny state

noun

a government that tries to protect its people and control their lives in a way that stops them being independent

oligarchy

noun

the control of a country by a small group of people

plutocracy

noun

the state of being governed by a group of rich people

polity

noun

a society that is organized in a political way and that has its own form of government

power-sharing

noun

an arrangement in which two groups share the responsibility of running a government

regime

noun

a government that controls a country, especially in a strict or unfair way

regime

noun

a system or form of government

reign of terror

noun

a period during which a government uses violence to control its people

self-determination

noun

the freedom of the people in a country to choose their own government and not be controlled by another country

self-government

noun

a situation in which a country or region is governed by its own people, not by people from outside

self-rule

noun

the state in which a country or region is governed by its own people, not by people from outside

state

noun

the government of a country

statehood

noun

the status of a place as an independent country

suzerainty

noun

the right of one country to partly control another country

technocracy

noun

a government or social system controlled by scientists and other technical experts

theocracy

noun

a government led by religious leaders

tyranny

noun

a government that treats people in a cruel and unfair way, using force to control them

non-alignment

noun

parastatal

noun

republicanism

noun

Republicanism

noun

totalitarianism

noun

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog