noun des·pot \ˈdes-pət, -ˌpät\

: a ruler who has total power and who often uses that power in cruel and unfair ways

: a person who has a lot of power over other people

Full Definition of DESPOT

a :  a Byzantine emperor or prince
b :  a bishop or patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church
c :  an Italian hereditary prince or military leader during the Renaissance
a :  a ruler with absolute power and authority
b :  a person exercising power tyrannically

Examples of DESPOT

  1. He was a successful basketball coach, but many people regarded him as a petty despot.
  2. The company is run by a benevolent despot.

Origin of DESPOT

Middle French despote, from Greek despotēs master, lord, autocrat, from des- (akin to domos house) + -potēs (akin to posis husband); akin to Sanskrit dampati lord of the house — more at dome, potent
First Known Use: 1585

Other Foreign Functionary Terms

count, emir, wardrobe, yeoman

Rhymes with DESPOT

DESPOT Defined for Kids


noun des·pot \ˈde-spət\

Definition of DESPOT for Kids

:  a ruler having absolute power and authority and especially one who rules cruelly


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