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

American human-rights sanctions mean less when Russia and China stand ready to lend autocrats a hand. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Twilight of Human-Rights Diplomacy," 17 Dec. 2018 The Indian Ocean archipelago nation had its first multiparty election in 2008, with Nasheed defeating 30-year autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Seattle Times, "Maldives opposition leader: Gov’t may rig next month’s poll," 27 Aug. 2018 The country has been polarized since a popular uprising in 2011 toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, ushering in a period of political domination by the Muslim Brotherhood, which won a series of elections — including the presidency. Menna Zaki, Fox News, "Movie star's lifestyle reversal sparks a debate in Egypt," 21 Aug. 2018 Close to half of the electorate views Mr Erdogan as an increasingly unscrupulous autocrat. The Economist, "Turkey’s President Erdogan may yet be defeated," 21 June 2018 Under a competent autocrat, Amazon might be in trouble because their business model is so dependent on government. David Dayen, The New Republic, "No Sympathy for Amazon," 3 Apr. 2018 Instead, Cambodia has come to stand as the highest-water mark for China’s influence in Southeast Asia and as the stage for Mr. Hun Sen’s evolution into one of Asia’s most unstinting autocrats. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "Embracing China, Facebook and Himself, Cambodia’s Ruler Digs In," 17 Mar. 2018 Again, the royal irony here is that fulfilling this promise implies more Arab democracy and fewer Arab autocrats, even relatively benevolent ones like Abdullah. Richard Mcgill Murphy, Town & Country, "Desert Prep," 17 Dec. 2012 Would-be workers and migrants are still pouring into Libya: Some are fleeing injustice, abuse or autocrats in their home countries further south in Africa. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "UN agency: Trips across Mediterranean fall, but risks rise," 3 Sep. 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

31 Dec 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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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

Comments on autocrat

What made you want to look up autocrat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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