Dictionary

despot

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

1
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
2
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

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: despotatePrevious Word in the Dictionary: desponsoriesAll Words Near: despot
April 27, 2015
savvy Hear it
to understand
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears