au·to·crat | \ ˈȯ-tə-ˌkrat \

Definition of autocrat 

1 : a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority

2 : one who has undisputed influence or power He was the autocrat of his household.

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Synonyms for autocrat


monarch, potentate, ruler, sovereign (also sovran)

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Examples of autocrat in a Sentence

European autocrats once commonly believed that they had received the right to rule directly from God.

Recent Examples on the Web

At a time when traditional media is under fire from autocrats around the globe, the intensifying effort against El Nacional illustrates how some governments are going to new lengths to silence dissent. Washington Post,, "As it slides toward authoritarianism, Venezuela targets one of its last independent newspapers," 6 July 2018 Kim will join a stable of autocrats, including Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping, who have earned Trump's gushing praise -- to the consternation of some of America's oldest friends. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump flips US foreign policy upside down," 7 June 2018 At present, Donald Trump is an autocrat without an autocracy.... Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump’s Amazon Trap," 4 Apr. 2018 Read more: Egypt’s Revolution Comes Full Circle From Arab Spring: QuickTake El-Sisi’s landslide was reminiscent of the margins Arab autocrats claimed before the 2011 Arab Spring., "Still Mr. 97 Percent, Egypt's El-Sisi Defeats Token Opponent," 2 Apr. 2018 Instead, the last few months show just how easily restrictions on free speech can be flouted at home while being twisted to serve the ideological purposes of straight-up autocrats abroad. Yascha Mounk, The New Republic, "Germany’s risky law for stopping hate speech on Facebook and Twitter," 3 Apr. 2018 New York Times Trump all atwitter While waiting for his momentous meeting with the North Korean autocrat, President Trump had plenty of other things on his mind, too. Washington Post,, "North Korean leader goes sightseeing in Singapore before meetings," 11 June 2018 Sadly for ambitious autocrats, the data suggest that China and the Middle East have already performed above their low potential. The Economist, "What makes a country good at football?," 9 June 2018 As a gift for then-autocrat Kim Jong Il — the current leader’s father — Albright had brought a basketball signed by Michael Jordan after learning that the diminutive Kim was a fan of the NBA. Matthew Pennington, The Seattle Times, "Tough talk: US envoys on how to negotiate with North Korea," 9 June 2018

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

1762, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for autocrat

French autocrate, from Greek autokratēs ruling by oneself, absolute, from aut- + -kratēs ruling — more at -crat

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Statistics for autocrat

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for autocrat

The first known use of autocrat was in 1762

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English Language Learners Definition of autocrat

: a person who rules with total power

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Comments on autocrat

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the setting in which something occurs

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