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 dictatorial (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 In 1923, General Miguel Primo de Rivera seized power in a military coup, establishing a dictatorial government with the monarchy’s support. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Is This the Body of a Woman Mayor Murdered During the Spanish Civil War?," 8 Feb. 2021 Diab Serrih, a former political prisoner from Syria, said the mob storming the Capitol reminded him of the thugs who remain loyal at all costs to Syria’s dictatorial leader, Bashar al-Assad. New York Times, "Barred From U.S. Under Trump, Muslims Exult in Biden’s Open Door," 23 Jan. 2021 Petrino drew the ire of the veterans for an aloof, dictatorial style and a bunch of silly, college-like rules, from banishing televisions in the locker room to frowning on any loud talking at team dinners when the Falcons were on the road. Paul Newberry, ajc, "Column: Meyer faces tough adjustment heading to NFL Jaguars," 15 Jan. 2021 Yet by basking in their new riches, companies were drawn that much closer to a White House that was separating children from their families at the border and cozying up with dictatorial regimes. David Gelles, New York Times, "After Riot, Business Leaders Reckon With Their Support for Trump," 7 Jan. 2021 But the Venezuelan regime did the necessary, from a dictatorial point of view. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "How Fares Freedom?," 17 Dec. 2020 If anything, the isolation and pressures of the Oval Office might further warp his ego and exaggerate his dictatorial tendencies. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "A Victory for Democracy: Trump Allows the Transition to Begin," 24 Nov. 2020 The dictatorial leaders of Russia, North Korea and China had yet to publicly comment on Biden’s victory. Washington Post, "Trump’s defeat is a blow for the world’s demagogues and dictators," 10 Nov. 2020 Now There also needs to be a shift away from top-down, almost dictatorial communications. Shadim Hussain, Wired, "We Need 'Horizontal' Trust to Overcome Vaccine Skepticism," 21 Nov. 2020

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

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The first known use of dictatorial was in 1587

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dictatorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictatorial. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for dictatorial



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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