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


absolute, arbitrary, autocratic (also autocratical), czarist (also tsarist), despotic, monocratic, tyrannical (also tyrannic), tyrannous



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Choose the Right Synonym for dictatorial

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

But she was silenced by the demands of a dictatorial husband and the gendered conventions of the literary marketplace. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019 Since then, as hunger has spread, Maduro has moved to assert even greater control of food distribution, handing out monthly boxes of staples that critics label a form of dictatorial social control. Joshua Goodman, The Seattle Times, "As Venezuelans go hungry, Trump targets food corruption," 24 Sep. 2018 Since corporate culture starts at the top, this dictatorial behavior is probably being modeled and rewarded by upper management. Marie G. Mcintyre, The Seattle Times, "How bad is this workplace? Bosses covered the windows to keep workers from looking out," 14 Nov. 2018 India has a populist leader happy to interfere with the central bank, China has ditched term limits to make its Communist leadership even more dictatorial than usual and the Philippine president revels in rejecting fetters on extrajudicial killing. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Investor Lessons From Turkey’s Crash to Earth," 14 Aug. 2018 The idea of a military coup just seems absurd; so too does Congress giving dictatorial power to President Trump. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "We aren’t alarmed enough about Jeff Sessions’s firing," 8 Nov. 2018 But the same dictatorial force could also be harsh on the students and Matt Beedle, former JIRP Director of Academics and Research, will never forget being a 17-year-old high schooler assigned to radio duty in 1995. Scott Yorko, Popular Mechanics, "Back to Alaska: How a Legendary Glacier Adventure Almost Died When the World Needed It Most," 12 Sep. 2018 Does Google really want to become a tool of the dictatorial communist regime? Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram’s verification system is useful, fair, and Twitter should copy it," 29 Aug. 2018 The moves, including opening the country’s 1987 constitution to amendment, have been opposed by several groups and opposition politicians, who fear they are designed to prolong Duterte’s rule and give him dictatorial powers. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "Row delays Duterte speech, rebel deal; Arroyo named speaker," 23 July 2018

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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Statistics for dictatorial

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for dictatorial

The first known use of dictatorial was in 1587

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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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Comments on dictatorial

What made you want to look up dictatorial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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