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

Definition of dictatorship

1 : the office of dictator
2 : autocratic rule, control, or leadership people suffering under his dictatorship
3a : a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique Communism and dictatorship
b : a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated rising up against a military dictatorship
c : a despotic state establishing a dictatorship

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Examples of dictatorship in a Sentence

The country suffered for many years under his dictatorship. His enemies accused him of establishing a dictatorship.
Recent Examples on the Web The theocracy has shed any pretense of internal debate—a centuries-old tradition within the religious schools—in favor of a modern Middle Eastern dictatorship inextricably wedded to an increasingly harsh Islamist creed. Reuel Marc Gerecht And Ray Takeyh, WSJ, 12 May 2022 Those numbers represent a reflection of the Burmese Chin who have fled the Southeast Asia country of Myanmar due to religious persecution and military dictatorship. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 11 May 2022 The 64-year-old scion poised to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte, who is constitutionally limited to a single term, served as a regional vice governor and governor during his father's dictatorship. Grayson Quay, The Week, 9 May 2022 Political analyst Tayao said the country's constitution and systems of checks and balances are robust enough to prevent another Marcos Sr-style dictatorship. Veejay Villafranca For Cnn, CNN, 6 May 2022 That said, there is little appetite among the population for a military dictatorship. Ayesha Jalal, The Conversation, 13 Apr. 2022 Among the toxic legacies of Brazil’s former military dictatorship, only deforestation in the Amazon still threatens the world. New York Times, 16 Mar. 2022 The forecast marks the latest blow for the country of 44 million, which was seeking to emerge from decades of dictatorship and economic mismanagement with the 2019 overthrow of veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir. Simon Marks, Bloomberg.com, 15 Mar. 2022 Those who see the club and its toonamint as flaming examples of privilege, autocracy and bad cheese sandwiches look at the rules and see a dictatorship. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

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

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dictatorship

dictator + -ship, as translation of Latin dictātūra

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The first known use of dictatorship was in 1542

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Dictionary Entries Near dictatorship



dictatorship of the proletariat

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dictatorship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictatorship. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dictatorship

Nglish: Translation of dictatorship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dictatorship for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dictatorship


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