despot

noun des·pot \ ˈdes-pət , -ˌpät \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of despot

1 a : a ruler with absolute power and authority
  • tyrannical despots
b : one exercising power tyrannically : a person exercising absolute power in a brutal or oppressive way
  • regards the basketball coach as a despot
2 a : a Byzantine emperor or prince
b Christianity : a bishop or patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church
c : an Italian hereditary prince or military leader during the Renaissance

Examples of despot in a Sentence

  1. He was a successful basketball coach, but many people regarded him as a petty despot.

  2. The company is run by a benevolent despot.

Recent Examples of despot from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of despot

Middle French despote, from Greek despotēs master, lord, autocrat, from des- (akin to domos house) + -potēs (akin to posis husband); akin to Sanskrit dampati lord of the house — more at dome, potent

Other Foreign Functionary Terms


DESPOT Defined for English Language Learners

despot

noun

Definition of despot for English Language Learners

  • : a ruler who has total power and who often uses that power in cruel and unfair ways

  • : a person who has a lot of power over other people


DESPOT Defined for Kids

despot

noun des·pot \ ˈde-spət \

Definition of despot for Students

: a ruler having absolute power and authority and especially one who rules cruelly


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