des·​pot·​ic | \ de-ˈspä-tik How to pronounce despotic (audio) , di- \

Definition of despotic

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from despotic

despotically \ de-​ˈspä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce despotic (audio) , di-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for despotic



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 In our time, praetorianism has come to mean despotic military rule, something associated with countries where the army is the real power behind the government. Mackubin Thomas Owens, National Review, 10 Aug. 2021 What primarily shook the island, and caught its despotic rulers off guard, was Cubans’ hunger for freedom. Néstor T. Carbonell, National Review, 16 July 2021 The despotic regime whose malign indifference killed so many and cost so much cannot be allowed to pretend that nothing happened. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 12 June 2021 No dictator is a leader, no despotic boss is a leader, no abusive authority figure is a leader. Luis E. Romero, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Authorities revised books to play down Mao’s despotic missteps. Keith Zhai, WSJ, 15 June 2021 In the World war, Americans dared to stand upon the side of those who raised the shield against despotic forces. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 30 May 2021 Conformal field theory, geometric entities, before and after that exist only in the head—and, in this despotic head, a big muddle and great confusion. Claudio Magris, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 The Indian government has often responded to criticism with despotic tactics, including by painting critics as anti-national. Simran Jeet Singh, Time, 14 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of despotic

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for despotic

see despot

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About despotic

Time Traveler for despotic

Time Traveler

The first known use of despotic was in 1604

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near despotic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for despotic

Last Updated

23 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Despotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on despotic

Nglish: Translation of despotic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of despotic for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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