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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Now in his fourth term as president, Vladimir Putin has imposed an autocratic, nationalist rule. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "75 years after D-Day, these countries are facing a nationalist resurgence," 6 June 2019 When The Chronicle reported in July 2016 that the irrepressible — some said autocratic — leader was leaving her position, Wilsey disputed the account and fought back. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: San Francisco will close its juvenile hall," 5 June 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of autocratic

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for autocratic

see autocrat

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about autocratic

Statistics for autocratic

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for autocratic

The first known use of autocratic was in 1769

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on autocratic

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

WORD OF THE DAY

having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!