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 Sudanese protesters returned to the streets to pressure their nation’s transitional authorities, demanding justice for those killed in the uprising last year that led to the military’s ouster of longtime autocrat Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 30, 2020," 30 June 2020 Alexander Lukashenko, an idiosyncratic autocrat, has retained many of the oppressive structures and symbols of the Soviet Union in Belarus for the past quarter-century. The Economist, "Miffed in Minsk Waving slippers at the “cockroach” president of Belarus," 20 June 2020 In this schema, Trump is still an attempting autocrat. Hari Kunzru, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy’s Red Line," 4 June 2020 Cold War skeletons tumbled from the closet: assassination plots, covert support for autocrats, spying on Americans. Tim Weiner, New York Times, "Ralph W. McGehee, Agent Who Exposed the C.I.A., Dies at 92," 14 May 2020 To be sure, governments can be oppressive and autocrats will exploit a crisis to grab power. Naomi Oreskes, Time, "We Need Big Government to Save Us from the Pandemic," 17 Apr. 2020 This is important because in the past, Middle East autocrats stayed in power through a combination of coercion and consent. Anthony Bubalo, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Weakness of Middle East Despots," 17 Mar. 2020 The 44-year-old daughter of Peru’s disgraced autocrat Alberto Fujimori was jailed in 2018, only to have the Constitutional Court annul the sentence 13 months later. John Quigley,, "Keiko Fujimori Returns to Peru Jail Pending Laundering Trial," 16 Mar. 2020 Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's former autocrat who ruled for nearly 30 years before being ensnared in the 2011 Arab Spring that swept through the region, died Tuesday at 91, Egypt state TV reported. Fox News, "Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former autocratic president, dead at 91: report," 26 Feb. 2020

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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Statistics for autocrat

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Autocrat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce autocrat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of autocrat

: a person who rules with total power

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