, monarch of England from 1558 to 1603]], monarch of Armenia from 95 BCE to 55 BCE]]The word "monarch" derives from Greek monos archein, meaning "one ruler," which referred to an absolute ruler in ancient Greece.With time, the word has been succeeded in this meaning by others, such as autocrat or dictator, and the word monarch in modern usage almost always refers to a traditional system of hereditary rulership, however, see the discussion on elective monarchies below.
Exceptions to this include the French co-prince of Andorra, who is not appointed for life (he is the French President, elected for a five year period by the French people), but generally still considered a monarch because of the use of a traditionally monarchical title. (Although, a purist might regard Andorra as a diarchy.) Similarly, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia is considered a monarch although only holding the office for five years at a time. On the other hand, several life-time dictators around the w