dictator

noun
dic·​ta·​tor | \ ˈdik-ˌtā-tər How to pronounce dictator (audio) , dik-ˈtā-\

Definition of dictator

1a : a person granted absolute emergency power especially, history : one appointed by the senate (see senate sense 1a) of ancient Rome
b : one holding complete autocratic control : a person with unlimited governmental power
c : one ruling in an absolute (see absolute sense 2) and often oppressive way fascist dictators
2 : one who says or reads something for a person to transcribe or for a machine to record : one that dictates (see dictate entry 1 sense 1)

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Examples of dictator in a Sentence

The country was ruled by a military dictator. the dictator had a fierce stranglehold on the country, keeping its people in poverty and ignorance

Recent Examples on the Web

Albania’s Stalinist dictator of the time, Enver Hoxha, was a deeply paranoid man who had 170,000 bunkers built across the tiny Mediterranean country, as well as up to 7,000 larger underground facilities. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Albania’s Underground Air Force Doesn’t Look So Good," 1 Apr. 2019 The year was 1910, and revolutionaries across Mexico were rising up to fight against elitist dictator Porfirio Díaz’s corrupt government. Teen Vogue, "Mexican Revolutionary Petra Herrera Posed as a Man to Fight for Her Country," 1 Apr. 2019 And on his watch, a wall fell in Berlin, a dictator's aggression did not stand, and doors across America opened to those with disabilities. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jon Meacham's Eulogy for George H.W. Bush: Read What the President's Biographer Had to Say," 5 Dec. 2018 Trump has many of the mannerisms and much of the style of a plebiscitary dictator who wields demagogic rhetoric to turn the crowd against liberal institutions. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The latest Obamacare ruling is part of a larger conservative attack on democracy," 15 Dec. 2018 Mohammad Alshokri came to San Antonio as a refugee from the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose security forces beat him so severely that both his legs were amputated above the knee. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Refugees flee war-torn homelands for deteriorating apartment complexes in S.A.," 30 June 2018 Nathan Fox, a child development specialist at the University of Maryland, sees similarities to the notorious orphanages found in Romania after the 1989 revolution there and the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. NBC News, "Border separations show why the US doesn't have orphanages any more," 20 June 2018 Polling Bounce His government will also seek to remove the remains of the dictator Francisco Franco from a mausoleum outside Madrid. Esteban Duarte, Bloomberg.com, "Spain's Sanchez Abandons His Pledge to Call Early Elections," 18 June 2018 These comments come in the context of criticism that has been lodged at Trump for his lenient descriptions of the dictator. Abigail Simon, Time, "President Trump Said He Wants People to 'Sit Up at Attention' for Him Like They Do for Kim Jong Un," 15 June 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dictator

Middle English dictatour, borrowed from Latin dictātor, from dictāre "to say repeatedly, speak aloud words to be transcribed by another, issue as an order" + -tor, agent suffix — more at dictate entry 1

Note: Though formally a derivative of dictāre, the noun dictātor is attested perhaps two centuries earlier in Latin and may be an independent formation, though the model for it is not clear; the sense "issue as an order" of dictāre may reflect influence of dictātor. The form tictator used in the Old English translation of Orosius's Historiae Adversum Paganos had no subsequent use.

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Statistics for dictator

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for dictator

The first known use of dictator was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dictator

dictator

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dictator

: a person who rules a country with total authority and often in a cruel or brutal way

dictator

noun
dic·​ta·​tor | \ ˈdik-ˌtā-tər How to pronounce dictator (audio) \

Kids Definition of dictator

: a person who rules with total power and often in a cruel manner

Other Words from dictator

dictatorship \ dik-​ˈtā-​tər-​ˌship \ noun

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