Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

dictator

play
noun dic·ta·tor \ˈdik-ˌtā-tər, dik-ˈ\

Simple Definition of dictator

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

Full Definition of dictator

  1. 1 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

  2. 2 :  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


DICTATOR Defined for Kids

dictator

play
noun dic·ta·tor \ˈdik-ˌtā-tər\

Definition of dictator

  1. :  a person who rules with total power and often in a cruel manner

dic·ta·tor·ship \dik-ˈtā-tər-ˌship\ noun




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dictator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ