autocratic

adjective
au·​to·​crat·​ic | \ ˌȯ-tə-ˈkra-tik How to pronounce autocratic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly autocratical \ -​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 \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce autocratically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for autocratic

Synonyms

absolute, arbitrary, czarist (also tsarist), despotic, dictatorial, monocratic, tyrannical (also tyrannic), tyrannous

Antonyms

limited

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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

Demonstrations began in December against a hike in the price of bread, and since then, tens of thousands have taken to the streets across the country to call for an end to al-Bashir's autocratic regime. Bridget Read, Vogue, "The Women of the Sudan Uprising Are Demanding to Be Heard," 9 Apr. 2019 Nasheed, a pro-democracy activist, became the archipelago state’s first president elected in a multiparty election in 2008, following decades of autocratic rule. Mohamed Sharuhaan, The Seattle Times, "Maldives court suspends jail term for ex-President Nasheed," 30 Oct. 2018 Venezuela’s autocratic president, Nicolás Maduro, is widely expected to win another term in elections Sunday. Anthony Faiola And Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Blackouts, hyperinflation, hunger: Maduro faces reelection as Venezuela deteriorates," 16 May 2018 Critics have reacted with alarm to Erdogan's victory, saying the results usher in what will effectively be one-man rule, putting someone with increasingly autocratic and intolerant tendencies at the helm of a strategically significant NATO country. Elena Becatoros, chicagotribune.com, "What's next for Turkey as Erdogan gains new executive powers?," 25 June 2018 Playing on the conservative sentiments of Turkey’s small-town and rural residents, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once the poster boy for Islamic democracy, has parlayed a narrow majority into quasi-autocratic power. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Democracy Could Bounce Back in 2019," 31 Dec. 2018 The tumult began in earnest on Dec. 19 over skyrocketing prices and a failing economy, but has led to calls for the autocratic ruler’s removal. Brian Rohan, The Seattle Times, "Al Jazeera says Sudan withdraws journalists’ work permits," 22 Jan. 2019 Their business-friendly reforms, Mr Renzi’s autocratic ways and the objections to both from more traditional left-wingers have stretched the party’s unity to breaking point. The Economist, "Problems forming a government in Italy," 15 Mar. 2018 But this sordid episode isn’t best thought of as the clash between an autocratic ruler and a democratic hero. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Why Kill Jamal Khashoggi?," 14 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for autocratic

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for autocratic

The first known use of autocratic was in 1769

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