au·​to·​crat | \ ˈȯ-tə-ˌkrat How to pronounce autocrat (audio) \

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


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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 In response, Turkey’s autocrat president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, waged war on crypto last month, and that’s when the real volatility kicked in. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Bitcoin bulls go on the offensive against Berkshire Hathaway," 3 May 2021 His long rule was also a product of his close ties with France, Chad’s former colonial power, which considered the African autocrat one of its most loyal allies, often turning a blind eye to the suppression of his people. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Idriss Déby Dies at 68; Poor Herder’s Son Became Chad’s Longtime Autocrat," 20 Apr. 2021 In 2021 Mexico will start to see if President Lopez Obrador aspires to be Latin America’s next autocrat. Nathaniel Parish Flannery, Forbes, "Is President Lopez Obrador Destroying Mexico?," 19 Apr. 2021 Last August, Belarusian autocrat Alexander Lukashenko – in power since 1994 – faced an unprecedented electoral challenge. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, "For autocrats like Vladimir Putin, ruthless repression is often a winning way to stay in power," 7 Apr. 2021 Lacôte’s own mother had been imprisoned at La Maca when the director was but a child, sent there for protesting the autocrat Félix Houphouët-Boigny. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, "Steeped in Ivory Coast’s Myth and Ritual, ‘Night of the Kings’ Is No Ordinary Prison Drama," 10 Mar. 2021 Biden on the campaign trail called Erdogan an autocrat, and as vice president was forced to offer an official apology in 2014 after suggesting Turkey played a role in the rise of the Islamic State group. Aamer Madhani And Rob Gillies, Star Tribune, "Vigorous preparation returns as Biden calls other leaders," 15 Feb. 2021 In a volatile post-election moment, a single violent incident might give a flailing autocrat a pretext to ramp up repression by police, or even to declare emergency powers. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How to Stop a Power Grab," 16 Nov. 2020 In all these ways, the most zealous followers of Trump and his successors are less like the supporters of an autocrat and more like the adherents of televangelists such as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Charles King, Time, "I, Too, Was Once a Soldier of the Apocalypse: Why White Evangelicals Must Choose Between Reform and American Extremism," 1 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for autocrat

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The first known use of autocrat was in 1762

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Autocrat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of autocrat

: a person who rules with total power

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