Top Definition
A law—meant to punish those who speak ill of the royalty family—that is often abused or misused by coup leaders to silence politicians who question whether the monarchy is an outdated tradition.
Ordinary folks accused of lese majeste are often forced and beaten by royalists to knell before a portrait of their king, making one wonder whether their actions are a dozen times worse than those they accuse of insulting the monarchy.
by MathPlus October 21, 2016

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An offense committed against a sovereign power (this would include both kings and elected governments), particularly one which affronts the dignity or sense of self-importance of this sovereign power. Lèse-majesté describes both intentional and unintentional offenses.

The term would begin to take on an ironic or even sarcastic meaning when the supposed offense is unreasonably manufactured in the mind of the sovereign, as seen in the example below.
"This wrong sort of Sunnis, known as the Muslim Brotherhood, commits the ultimate lèse-majesté of believing in the ballot box as a source of authority rather than royal lineage." Source: New York Times, opinion page, article titled "A Middle East Primer", dated 31 Jan 2014
by Cristina Y February 14, 2014

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