des·​pot·​ic | \des-ˈpä-tik, dis-\

Definition of despotic 

: of, relating to, or characteristic of a despot a despotic government

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Other Words from despotic

despotically \-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for despotic


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



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Examples of despotic in a Sentence

a nation ruled by a series of despotic rulers, each seemingly worse than the last the despotic coach demands that his players obey him without question

Recent Examples on the Web

Perovskaya clashed with her despotic father early on. Eva Sohlman, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: The Russian Icon Who Was Hanged for Killing a Czar," 30 May 2018 Tracking the movements of every person at all times in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries would have required feats of manpower and bureaucracy beyond all but the most despotic regimes’ dreams. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Cares About Your Digital Privacy," 22 June 2018 This dark and seemingly despotic world of election management, influence peddling, and voter data analytics is raising fundamental questions about how democratic institutions can survive these new digital threats. David Carroll, WIRED, "The US Should Pay Attention to Foreign Cambridge Analytica Probes," 15 June 2018 The real threat to Palestinians’ human rights comes not from Israel but from their own self-appointed, corrupt, despotic leaders. WSJ, "Younger Evangelicals on Israel and Palestine," 11 June 2018 The tomb was demolished soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution as Iran's new clerical rulers sought to erase all traces of a secular monarchy that by then was widely seen as corrupt, despotic and dissolute. Shashank Bengali,, "The discovery of a decades-old corpse unearths a new threat to Iran's theocracy," 25 Apr. 2018 Several weeks after President Trump announced his desire for a military parade in the style of France (or, less charitably, various despotic regimes), plans for the event are coming into focus. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "President Trump’s Military Parade Will Not Go Full Authoritarian," 10 Mar. 2018 Like the despotic Kims, Cuba’s regime keeps its citizens poor and unfree. The Economist, "The fade of the house of Castro," 18 Apr. 2018 And diplomats are scraping together plans for an once-unthinkable meeting with North Korea's despotic leader. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump's administration is scrambling to catch up with him," 5 Apr. 2018

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

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for despotic

see despot

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Statistics for despotic

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Time Traveler for despotic

The first known use of despotic was in 1604

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More from Merriam-Webster on despotic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with despotic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for despotic

Spanish Central: Translation of despotic

Nglish: Translation of despotic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of despotic for Arabic Speakers

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