noun dic·ta·tor \ˈdik-ˌtā-tər, dik-ˈ\

: a person who rules a country with total authority and often in a cruel or brutal way

Full Definition of DICTATOR

a :  a person granted absolute emergency power; especially :  one appointed by the senate of ancient Rome
b :  one holding complete autocratic control
c :  one ruling absolutely and often oppressively
:  one that dictates

Examples of DICTATOR

  1. The country was ruled by a military dictator.
  2. <the dictator had a fierce stranglehold on the country, keeping its people in poverty and ignorance>

Origin of DICTATOR

Latin, from dictare
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
DICTATOR Defined for Kids


noun dic·ta·tor \ˈdik-ˌtā-tər\

Definition of DICTATOR for Kids

:  a person who rules with total power and often in a cruel manner
dic·ta·tor·ship \dik-ˈtā-tər-ˌship\ noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: dictatorialPrevious Word in the Dictionary: dictativeAll Words Near: dictator
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