dynasty

noun
dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē also -ˌnas-tē How to pronounce dynasty (audio) , especially British ˈdi-nə-stē\
plural dynasties

Definition of dynasty

1 : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent (see descent sense 1a) a dynasty that ruled China for nearly 300 years
2 : a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time born into a powerful political dynasty a baseball dynasty

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Other Words from dynasty

dynastic \ dī-​ˈnas-​tik How to pronounce dynastic (audio) \ adjective
dynastically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dynastically (audio) \ adverb

Sports Dynasties

Dynasty has been in use in English for over 600 years, for most of that time referring to a ruling family that maintains power through succession. Around the beginning of the 19th century, the word developed the figurative sense “a group or family that dominates a particular field for generations.” Nowadays, this sense of dynasty is often applied to a sports franchise which has a prolonged run of successful seasons. The sports use appears to have begun in the early 20th century. An article in The Washington Post in 1905 refers to “John T. Brush’s baseball dynasty,” and by 1912 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that “if players were free agents at the end of every two years, baseball dynasties such as those built up by the Cubs, Athletics, Detroits and Giants would not be possible.”

Dynasty Has Greek Roots

Dynast and dynasty both descend from the Greek verb dynasthai, which means "to be able" or "to have power." Dynasty came to prominence in English first; it has been part of our language since at least the 14th century. Dynast took its place in the linguistic family line in the early 1600s, and it has been used to describe sovereigns and other rulers ever since.

Examples of dynasty in a Sentence

a dynasty that ruled China for nearly 300 years There was a civil war during the dynasty. She was born into a powerful political dynasty.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But all dynasties eventually fall, and the Lakers were no different. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Lakers hope LeBron will help them reclaim spotlight of Showtime era," 2 July 2018 Lasting dynasties find ways to sustain themselves, and the way Durant has navigated his free agency these last two years has only added to the Warriors' staying power. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Kevin Durant Cuts Warriors a Break by Reportedly Wishing to Re-Sign to Team-Friendly Contract," 30 June 2018 But that dynasty may live on without interruption, since Sandy’s son Andy is running for the House seat his father is vacating. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Congressional ‘Royals’," 19 May 2018 May 11, 2018 might go down as the day the American Heritage-Delray girls lacrosse dynasty began. Wells Dusenbury, Sun-Sentinel.com, "American Heritage-Delray tops Lake Highland to capture first state title," 12 May 2018 Other German business dynasties whose fortunes partly stem from the Nazi era, such as the Quandts and the Oetkers—and even some Flick family members—have made some form of restitution for using slave labor. Bloomberg, Time, "The Nazi Shadow Behind the World's Youngest Billionaires," 7 May 2018 After claiming a Jewish banking dynasty controls the climate and federal government, D.C. Council member Trayon White’s path to atonement included a bagels and lox breakfast with fellow lawmakers and local Jewish community leaders. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Bagels, lox and apologies at breakfast to discuss D.C. lawmaker’s anti-Semitic comments," 27 Mar. 2018 The organization the New England Patriots beat to begin their dynasty now has the chance to be the ultimate spoiler. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "The Super Bowl That Launched the Patriots’ Dynasty," 1 Feb. 2019 Bruegel launched an artistic dynasty: His two sons, Pieter the Younger and Jan the Elder, and later his grandsons kept the Bruegel name going beyond the death of Rubens in the mid-17th century. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Strange and Stirring Bruegel," 7 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dynasty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dynasty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dynasty

see dynast

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Dictionary Entries near dynasty

dynast

Dynastes

dynasticism

dynasty

dynatron

dyne

dynein

Statistics for dynasty

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for dynasty

The first known use of dynasty was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for dynasty

dynasty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dynasty

: a family of rulers who rule over a country for a long period of time also : the period of time when a particular dynasty is in power
: a family, team, etc., that is very powerful or successful for a long period of time

dynasty

noun
dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē How to pronounce dynasty (audio) \
plural dynasties

Kids Definition of dynasty

: a series of rulers of the same family

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More from Merriam-Webster on dynasty

Spanish Central: Translation of dynasty

Nglish: Translation of dynasty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dynasty for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dynasty

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