/king/, n.
1. Billie Jean (Moffitt) /mof"it/, born 1943, U.S. tennis player.
2. Clarence, 1842-1901, U.S. geologist and cartographer.
3. Ernest Joseph, 1878-1956, U.S. naval officer.
4. Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-68, U.S. Baptist minister: civil-rights leader; Nobel peace prize 1964.
5. Richard, 1825-85, U.S. rancher and steamboat operator.
6. Riley B. ("B.B."), born 1925, U.S. blues singer and guitarist.
7. Rufus, 1755-1827, U.S. political leader and statesman.
8. Stephen, born 1947, U.S. novelist and short-story writer.
9. William Lyon Mackenzie, 1874-1950, Canadian statesman: prime minister 1921-26, 1926-30, 1935-48.
10. William Rufus DeVane /deuh vayn"/, 1786-1853, vice president of the U.S. 1853.

* * *

Male sovereign over a nation or territory, of higher rank than any other ruler except an emperor.

A king's female counterpart is a queen. Some kings have been elected, as in medieval Germany, but most inherit the position. The community may concentrate all spiritual and political power in the sovereign, or power may be shared constitutionally with other government institutions. Some kings are heads of state but not heads of government. In the past, some were regarded as semidivine representatives of God on Earth; others were viewed as gods in their own right or supernatural beings who became gods after death (see divine kingship). Since the 17th century the power held by monarchs, particularly those in western Europe, has been widely regarded as deriving from the people. See also constitutional monarchy; khan; monarchy; pharaoh; tsar.
(as used in expressions)
King Philip
Cole Nat King
Frederick the Winter King
Alaskan king crab
King George's War
King Philip's War
King William's War
King B.B.
King Billie Jean
King Larry
King Martin Luther Jr.
King Rufus
King Stephen Edwin
King William Lyon Mackenzie
King William Rufus de Vane
Mad King Ludwig
the Sun King
the Citizen King
Merton Robert King
Oliver King
Vidor King Wallis
Hiram King Williams
Leslie Lynch King Jr.
Lovelace Augusta Ada King countess of
Mary Queen of Scots
Queen Anne's lace
Queen Anne's War
Queen's University at Kingston
Sheba Queen of
Queen Margot
Queen Ellery
Kings Mountain Battle of
Kings Valley of the

* * *

      a supreme ruler, sovereign over a nation or a territory, of higher rank than any other secular ruler except an emperor, to whom a king may be subject. Kingship, a worldwide phenomenon, can be elective, as in medieval Germany, but is usually hereditary; it may be absolute or constitutional and usually takes the form of a monarchy, although dyarchies have been known, as in ancient Sparta, where two kings ruled jointly. The king has often stood as mediator between his people and their god, or, as in ancient Sumer, as the god's representative.

      Sometimes he himself has been regarded as divine and has become the key figure in fertility rituals; such religions often ultimately required the death either of the king himself or of an official substitute as a sacrifice to the gods. The concept of divinity, brought in from Egypt, characterized the Hellenistic Age, and was later revived by the Roman emperors. The Christian Roman emperors assumed authority as representatives of God, and, in medieval political theory, kingship was early regarded as to some extent analogous with the priesthood, the ceremony of anointing at the coronation becoming highly significant. The absolute monarchies of the 16th to 18th century were often strengthened by the establishment of nationalist churches; but from the 17th century in England and, later, in other countries, kingship was made constitutional, royal power being held to derive from the people rather than from God.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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