Meaning of monarch in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmɒnək/

See synonyms for monarch

Translate monarch into Spanish


  • 1A sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor.

    ‘the reigning monarch’
    • ‘this followed an attempt by the deposed monarch to regain his throne’
    • ‘Since then I have described the Queen as our monarch or sovereign, and the governor-general as our head of state.’
    • ‘The English and French monarchs were kings and queens of the land and not the people.’
    • ‘The British annexed Burma in 1886 during the reign of its last monarch - King Thibaw - who was taken to Calcutta, where he died in 1916.’
    • ‘He served as a principal secretary to four successive Tudor monarchs, from Henry VIII to the early reign of Queen Elizabeth.’
    • ‘Although politically unified since the reign of the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel in the late fifteenth century, Spain continues to be divided by regional loyalties.’
    • ‘They called themselves the king and supreme monarch of their respective monarchies by the mandate of heaven.’
    • ‘Manuscript illumination flourished under the patronage of the dukes of Burgundy, kings of England, Portuguese monarchs, and Hapsburg rulers.’
    • ‘When the Queen first began her reign, monarchs were expected to be somewhat detached, grand and distant figures, especially the British monarch.’
    • ‘Stamboliiski boldly opposed Bulgaria's entry into the First World War in the face of the monarch Tsar Ferdinand.’
    • ‘He shakes hands with the principality's reigning monarch, Prince Hans Adam II, at a garden fête.’
    • ‘He managed to curry favour with a succession of kings of England and was consort to the nine-year-old monarch Henry III.’
    • ‘Centuries after the city famously locked out the reigning monarch King Charles I, it was a time to forgive and forget.’
    • ‘The last time the monarch refused to give Royal Assent was in 1707 with Queen Anne.’
    • ‘This should not be too surprising as emperors and monarchs had been famous in history for their love of flowers and gardens.’
    • ‘The 15th-century gothic church is the burial place of 10 monarchs, including Henry VIII, Charles I and the Queen's father, King George VI.’
    • ‘He returned to the throne in 1993 as a constitutional monarch who ‘reigns but does not govern.’’
    • ‘Being a constitutional monarch, the Queen consistently follows the recommendation of the head of government as required.’
    • ‘Recently, the museum had the good fortune to acquire the portraits of the monarch and his queen illustrated here.’
    • ‘In 1900, when Queen Victoria was our monarch, banks accounted for roughly a sixth of the value of the entire stock market.’
    • ‘Ministers will be put under pressure to scrap the law that bans the eldest daughter of a British monarch from becoming queen if she has a brother.’
    sovereign, ruler, Crown, crowned head, potentate
    View synonyms
  • 2

    (also monarch butterfly)
    A large migratory orange and black butterfly that occurs mainly in North America. The caterpillar feeds on milkweed, using the toxins in the plant to render both itself and the adult unpalatable to predators.
    Also called milkweed

    Danaus plexippus, subfamily Danainae, family Nymphalidae

    ‘The most incredible butterfly journey, measured in thousands of miles compared with our painted lady's few hundred mile trip, belongs to the monarch butterfly of North America.’
    • ‘During its final growth stage, the constantly feeding larva of a monarch butterfly consumes an amazing 2.25 times its own weight in milkweed per day.’
    • ‘Some insects, like the monarch butterfly, migrate to warmer climes in winter.’
    • ‘Conservationists and others concerned about the fate of the monarch butterfly may be heartened by a recent survey of milkweed distribution in the major U.S. corn-growing area.’
    • ‘Honey-bees glided over the roses and a monarch butterfly flew over the fence to land on a wing of the cherub.’
  • 3

    (also monarch flycatcher)
    A flycatcher found in Africa, Asia, and Australasia, typically having boldly marked or colourful plumage.

    Family Monarchidae (the monarch flycatcher family): many genera and numerous species

    • ‘White-bellied sea eagle, Blue-throated flycatcher and black-naped monarch flycatcher were some of the birds that could be sighted in the city.’


Late Middle English from late Latin monarcha, from Greek monarkhēs, from monos ‘alone’ + arkhein ‘to rule’.