constitutional monarchy

(noun) A monarchical government in which the ruler’s power is limited by a constitution or other legal restraints.

Example: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland governed by a Queen Elizabeth II and a parliament divided into the House of Lords and House of Commons, led by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Audio Pronunciation: (con·sti·tu·tion·al mon·ar·chy)

Download Audio Pronunciation: constitutional monarchy.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: constitutional monarchies
  • The authority of an constitutional monarch is typically hierarchical, with power transferred hereditarily typically through the eldest son.
  • A constitutional monarchy is compared and contrasted with an absolute monarchy.
  • Also called:
    • crown republic
    • limited monarchy
    • parliamentary monarchy
  • Constitutional monarchy use in a sentence: The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarch.
  • A (noun) monarch rules an absolute monarchy and their authority is described as (adjective) monarchal or (adjective) monarchic or (adjective) monarchical.

Additional Information:

Related Terms:

Works Consulted

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (


How to Cite the Definition of Constitutional Monarchy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “constitutional monarchy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 16, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

constitutional monarchy. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “constitutional monarchy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 16, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“constitutional monarchy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 16 Jun. 2019. <>.