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 Others recall how American politicians bragged that democracies had a creative edge that autocratic China would always lack. The Economist, "Chaguan Elites in Beijing see America in decline, hastened by Trump," 11 June 2020 China offers a case in point: Though deeply autocratic, Beijing must still consider public sentiment to some extent, offering its people increased economic mobility and improving standards of living. Abdallah Fayyad, The Atlantic, "Saudi Arabia’s Tax Gamble," 11 June 2020 The Trump administration pulled the United States out of the council two years ago amid accusations that it was biased against Israel and counted some repressive or autocratic regimes that abuse human rights as members. Time, "Civil Rights Groups Urge U.N. Human Rights Council to ‘Urgently’ Meet on U.S. Police Violence," 9 June 2020 Mullen joined Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen and former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in accusing President Trump of taking autocratic steps that are harming democracy. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Retired Adm. Mike Mullen and former Defense Secretary William Cohen warn of politicization of military and 'autocratic' whims of Trump," 9 June 2020 Ultimately, Chávez’s election marked the complete dissolution of Venezuela’s two-party system and the birth of a militarized, autocratic state that blooms in full failure today under his successor, Nicolás Maduro. Kristina Mani, The Conversation, "Using the military to quash protests can erode democracy – as Latin America well knows," 8 June 2020 Such anonymity echoes the way in which enforcers in autocratic regimes have worked to avoid accountability. Philip Bump, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Unidentified law enforcement officers are a dangerous new factor in an uneasy moment," 4 June 2020 Indeed, the crisis arose in part because autocratic China did not move swiftly enough to contain it. Charles Hankla, The Conversation, "How disorderly democracies can outperform efficient autocracies in tackling coronavirus," 7 May 2020 But of late, she had been left politically sidelined by the domestic rise of populism, the far right, the far left, and by autocratic leaders around the world. Saskia Miller, The Atlantic, "Angela Merkel Is Germany’s Scientist in Chief," 20 Apr. 2020

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

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The first known use of autocratic was in 1769

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Autocratic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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