adjective \ˌdik-tə-ˈtr-ē-əl\

: of, relating to, or ruled by a dictator

—used to describe a person who tries to control other people in a forceful and unfair way

Full Definition of DICTATORIAL

a :  of, relating to, or befitting a dictator <dictatorial power>
b :  ruled by a dictator
:  oppressive to or arrogantly overbearing toward others
dic·ta·to·ri·al·ly \-ē-ə-lē\ adverb
dic·ta·to·ri·al·ness noun


  1. He was given dictatorial powers.
  2. <a dictatorial leader with total control over people's lives>

First Known Use of DICTATORIAL


Synonym Discussion of DICTATORIAL

dictatorial, magisterial, dogmatic, doctrinaire, oracular mean imposing one's will or opinions on others. dictatorial stresses autocratic, high-handed methods and a domineering manner <exercised dictatorial control over the office>. magisterial stresses assumption or use of prerogatives appropriate to a magistrate or schoolmaster in forcing acceptance of one's opinions <the magisterial tone of his pronouncements>. dogmatic implies being unduly and offensively positive in laying down principles and expressing opinions <dogmatic about what is art and what is not>. doctrinaire implies a disposition to follow abstract theories in framing laws or policies affecting people <a doctrinaire approach to improving the economy>. oracular implies the manner of one who delivers opinions in cryptic phrases or with pompous dogmatism <a designer who is the oracular voice of fashion>.

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


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