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


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

Over time, the President’s embrace of autocrats and his dismissal of human rights could put the lives of millions of people around the world—including Americans—in jeopardy. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The Unbelievable Hypocrisy of Trump’s New “Unalienable Rights” Panel," 9 July 2019 But critics view him as an aspiring autocrat and fear a return to one-man rule. Author: Rami Musa, Samy Magdy, Anchorage Daily News, "Airstrike kills 44 migrants in Libyan detention center," 3 July 2019 These autocrats, dictators by nature are a paranoid bunch. CBS News, "Transcript: Anna Fifield talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 19 June 2019 The president is famously fond of autocrats and dictators – from Putin to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un – while nastily critical of democratic allies, such as Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel. Trudy Rubin, The Mercury News, "Rubin: Trump’s nationalism vs. Macron’s plea for a strong alliance," 11 June 2019 We are now given over to the worst of everything the Founders feared, an oligarchy allied with shadowy foreign autocrats, maneuvering behind readily fabricated crowds and demagogues. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "The Crisis of Our Constitution," 10 Jan. 2019 Despite administration policies, Trump still seems to favor Putin and other autocrats like him. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Putin and Xi cement an alliance for the 21st century," 6 June 2019 But that could change: China’s autocrats may not be as clumsy for ever. The Economist, "A belt-and-road court dreams of rivalling the West’s tribunals," 6 June 2019 There are the threats to jail political opponents, the juvenile insults, the stomping all over the justice system, the impunity for crimes committed in plain view, the praise for human rights abuses and autocrats. CNN, "The bond market may be signaling something worse than a recession: Distrust in America," 4 June 2019

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

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for autocrat

The first known use of autocrat was in 1762

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More Definitions for autocrat



English Language Learners Definition of autocrat

: a person who rules with total power

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More from Merriam-Webster on autocrat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with autocrat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for autocrat

Spanish Central: Translation of autocrat

Nglish: Translation of autocrat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of autocrat for Arabic Speakers

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