Anomie, in contemporary English means the absence of any kind of rule, law, principle or order.

The word comes from Greek a-: "without", and nomos: "law". This term was used by the Greeks to define anything or anyone who was against the rules or a condition where the present laws were not applied (illegitimacy, unlawfulness). The contemporary English understanding of the word Anomie differs from how the term was originally defined and used by Greeks and tends to become a synonym of the word ??a???a (see Anarchy). In Greek there is a difference between the word "nomos" (law), and the word "arché" (starting rule, axiom, principle). For example, majority rule is an "arché" and not a "nomos".

Current examples:
In recent history there have been numerous instances of collapse of state authority, sometimes prompted by war but also often due to implosion of the state. In some cases, state collapse is followed by lawlessness, rioting, looting, and, if disarray lasts long enough, eventually warlordism. Such societies are often described as anarchy, but they are not anarchies in the sense of the philosophy of anarchism; they lack the sort of substitute social structures which anarchists theorize would replace the state.

Read more about the disorders of anomie.