dic·​ta·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌdik-tə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce dictatorial (audio) \

Definition of dictatorial

1a : of, relating to, or befitting a dictator dictatorial power
b : ruled by a dictator
2 : oppressive to or arrogantly overbearing toward others

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Other Words from dictatorial

dictatorially \ ˌdik-​tə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce dictatorially (audio) \ adverb
dictatorialness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dictatorial



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dictatorial, magisterial, dogmatic, doctrinaire, oracular mean imposing one's will or opinions on others. dictatorial stresses autocratic, high-handed methods and a domineering manner. exercised dictatorial control over the office magisterial stresses assumption or use of prerogatives appropriate to a magistrate or schoolmaster in forcing acceptance of one's opinions. the magisterial tone of his pronouncements dogmatic implies being unduly and offensively positive in laying down principles and expressing opinions. dogmatic about what is art and what is not doctrinaire implies a disposition to follow abstract theories in framing laws or policies affecting people. a doctrinaire approach to improving the economy oracular implies the manner of one who delivers opinions in cryptic phrases or with pompous dogmatism. a designer who is the oracular voice of fashion

Examples of dictatorial in a Sentence

He was given dictatorial powers. a dictatorial leader with total control over people's lives
Recent Examples on the Web This pattern of favoring dictatorial regimes is not limited to Francis himself but includes many of his closest associates. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, "Pope Francis, Wayward Shepherd," 6 Feb. 2020 In uncanny ways, dictatorial rule in Syria was strengthened in both cases, too. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing, and the Current U.S. Retreat from Syria," 23 Oct. 2019 Unable to return to his home country of Turkey because of the dictatorial regime of Recep Erdogan, Kanter used his own social media channels to weigh in overnight. BostonGlobe.com, "What happened to LeBron James the social justice champion? - The Boston Globe," 16 Oct. 2019 Venezuela is suffering a humanitarian crisis, with its economy crippled by economic mismanagement and hefty sanctions placed on Maduro’s dictatorial regime. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Venezuela just hiked its minimum wage 67% but a month of work still cant buy 1 kg of beef," 11 Jan. 2020 Even a democrat like Jawaharlal Nehru used the pen name Chanakya to publish a highly critical article against himself, warning Indians about the dictatorial tendencies of Nehru. Anand Neelakanthan, Quartz India, "Who exactly was Chanakya, the ancient genius that wily Indian politicians are being compared with?," 20 Dec. 2019 Carey worked service jobs and backup gigs before delivering a demo tape, when still in her late teens, to the music executive Tommy Mottola—who later became Carey’s husband and dictatorial manager. Emily Lordi, The New Yorker, "Mariah Carey’s Christmas Miracle," 17 Dec. 2019 There's a larger battle going on, on the planet Earth right now between totalitarian, dictatorial countries and free democracies. NBC News, "Read: Democratic debate transcript, November 20, 2019," 20 Nov. 2019 Alonso Sierralta was just a child when his family fled Chile with nothing but five Samsonite suitcases and a deep fear that government death squads would add them to the thousands who had disappeared under the dictatorial rule of Augusto Pinochet. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "In ‘Caravan,’ 31 Twin Cities artists reflect on immigrant journeys," 29 Nov. 2019

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

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dictatorial

Latin dictātōrius "of a dictator" (derivative of dictātor dictator) + -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for dictatorial

Time Traveler

The first known use of dictatorial was in 1587

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Statistics for dictatorial

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dictatorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictatorial. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dictatorial


How to pronounce dictatorial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dictatorial

: of, relating to, or ruled by a dictator
disapproving used to describe a person who tries to control other people in a forceful and unfair way

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