authoritarian

adjective
au·​thor·​i·​tar·​i·​an | \ ȯ-ˌthär-ə-ˈter-ē-ən , ə-, -ˌthȯr-\

Definition of authoritarian

1 : of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority had authoritarian parents
2 : of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people an authoritarian regime

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Other Words from authoritarian

authoritarian noun
authoritarianism \ -​ē-​ə-​ˌni-​zəm \ noun

Examples of authoritarian in a Sentence

grew up with an authoritarian older sister who thought she was queen of the world an authoritarian coach who runs football practice like it's boot camp

Recent Examples on the Web

In North Korea—an authoritarian state where men dominate official positions and exercise control surpassing that in other countries—the power imbalance between genders is extreme. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Sex Abuse is Rampant in North Korea, Reports Say," 31 Oct. 2018 What transpires is ludicrous, if gripping in a pulpy sort of way (a fearsome terrorist inmate is actually a supernatural demon bent on exposing the venality of the authoritarian state). Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Which of These New TV International Thrillers Should You Binge?," 30 Aug. 2018 Under Abiy, Ethiopia appears to be embarking on a new path of reform, but Eritrea has been characterized as one of the most authoritarian states in Africa. Paul Schemm, Washington Post, "Thousands cheer Ethiopian leader’s visit to former enemy Eritrea for unprecedented summit," 8 July 2018 Look no further than another tweet sent by Brian Stelter on Wednesday, chiding the liberal activist Amy Siskind for comparing border-crossing checkpoints to the dystopian authoritarian state of Margaret Atwood’s Gilead. Rebecca Traister, The Cut, "Summer of Rage," 29 June 2018 His critics had portrayed Sunday’s election as their last chance to prevent Turkey from becoming an authoritarian state. New York Times, "Erdogan’s Victory in Turkey Election Expands His Powers," 24 June 2018 Consider his approach to China, a rising geopolitical threat to the United States and one that, like North Korea, is an authoritarian state. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "The ‘dotard’ meets ‘Little Rocket Man’: Trump and Kim are adversaries with many similarities," 10 June 2018 The film takes place in a future authoritarian state that has walled itself away from a world ravaged by climate chaos and resource wars. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "Kathy Bates, Eva Green and Ed Skrein Join Sci-Fi Thriller 'A Patriot'," 27 Apr. 2018 The relatively lenient sentences appeared to be part of an effort by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government to soften its image as an authoritarian regime. Sopheng Cheang, The Seattle Times, "Cambodian court gives suspended sentences to labor leaders," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'authoritarian.' 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 authoritarian

1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for authoritarian

see authority

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Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for authoritarian

The first known use of authoritarian was in 1861

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More Definitions for authoritarian

authoritarian

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of authoritarian

: expecting or requiring people to obey rules or laws : not allowing personal freedom

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