au·​to·​crat·​ic | \ ˌȯ-tə-ˈkra-tik How to pronounce autocratic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly autocratical \ ˌȯ-​tə-​ˈkra-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce autocratical (audio) \

Definition of autocratic

1 : of, relating to, or being an autocracy : absolute an autocratic government
2 : characteristic of or resembling an autocrat : despotic an autocratic ruler

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Other Words from autocratic

autocratically \ ˌȯ-​tə-​ˈkra-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce autocratically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for autocratic



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Did You Know?

Autos in Greek means "same" or "self", so in an autocratic government all the power is held by the leader him- or herself. Autocratic governments are often called dictatorships, or sometimes autocracies. In everyday life, a teacher, a parent, or a football coach can all behave like autocrats as well.

Examples of autocratic in a Sentence

democracy is supposed to protect the people against the rise of autocratic rulers an autocratic Boy Scout leader who is under the delusion that he's still an army colonel
Recent Examples on the Web First, there was his abrupt, chaotic pullout from Syria — betraying our Kurdish allies, empowering the autocratic president of Turkey, delivering a gift to the Syrian regime and opening up new space for Islamic State. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Trump to Congress: Impeach me!," 17 Oct. 2019 The military had ousted autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April amid nationwide protests against his nearly 30-year rule. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sudan’s new PM launches probe into protesters’ deaths," 22 Sep. 2019 Turkey’s autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aims to crush Syria’s Kurds, who have been ditched by President Donald Trump. The Economist, "Politics this week," 19 Oct. 2019 The talks come in the wake of an August power-sharing agreement between the army and a pro-democracy movement following the overthrow of autocratic former president Omar al-Bashir. Noha Elhennawy, Fox News, "Sudan rebel faction, government hold 1st round of talks," 18 Oct. 2019 But an autocratic embassy does not a swinging party make. Shawn Mccreesh, New York Times, "Donald Trump Has Drained the Swamp (of Good Christmas Parties)," 21 Dec. 2019 Censorship and disinformation are related, Priest pointed out, because autocratic countries such as China, Russia, Turkey and Egypt control the flow of information by censoring and conducting disinformation campaigns against their own people. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two-time Pulitzer winning journalist Dana Priest speaking at UWM Thursday night," 3 Dec. 2019 Nowhere in Hansen’s pages is the impulsive, autocratic oaf seen by many of Castro’s critics. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Young Castro’ captures a revolutionary’s shining dreams," 12 Aug. 2019 These are the hallmarks of autocratic regimes around the world, but equally worrisome, perhaps, is the simultaneous collapse of comity and restraint in the governing of our nation. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "How Trump Could Further Erode Democracy During Impeachment," 30 Sep. 2019

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

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for autocratic

see autocrat

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Time Traveler for autocratic

Time Traveler

The first known use of autocratic was in 1769

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Statistics for autocratic

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Autocratic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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