Definition of despotism
1a : oppressive absolute (see absolute 2) power and authority exerted by government : rule by a despot an excess of law is despotism, from which free men revolt — S. B. Pettengillb : oppressive or despotic exercise of power educational despotism
2a : a system of government in which the ruler has unlimited power : absolutismb : a despotic state enduring the despotism of the czars
Examples of despotism in a Sentence
by the end of the 20th century many countries around the world had rejected despotism in favor of democracy
Recent Examples of despotism from the Web
What’s striking here is that the same folks who see in Mr. Trump a Mussolini in waiting are blind to the soft despotism that has already taken root in our government.
Theoretically, at least, to give democracy any standing-ground for an argument with despotism or oligarchy, a majority of the men composing it should be statesmen and thinkers.
Enlightened despotism is thus preferable to democracy: the masses require protection from themselves.
It’s built around the simple, alluring principle that unbridled communication can undermine despotism.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despotism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of despotism
First Known Use: circa 1727
DESPOTISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of despotism for English Language Learners
: rule by a despot
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