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

Saturday Reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain's 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Houston Chronicle, "Outside the Megaplex: Here are the Houston arthouse movies showing Aug. 9-15," 8 Aug. 2019 While the dictatorship was ultimately frustrated in its ambitions to transform the Amazon, the region remained vulnerable to illicit exploitation and sporadic brutality for decades. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "What Indigenous Rights Have to Do With Fighting Climate Change," 7 Aug. 2019 Like many young members of the R.A.N.U., Kagame joined the future Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s anticolonial leftist guerrilla force, which fought to overthrow first Idi Amin’s dictatorship in 1979, then Milton Obote’s in 1985. Maggie Calt, Harper's magazine, "Brutal from the Beginning," 22 July 2019 Tuchel admitted that even now, there are shortcomings in historians’ knowledge of the resistance and promised more research in the future into the role of women who opposed the Nazi dictatorship. Fox News, "Germans who resisted Nazi regime honored on 75 anniversary of plot of kill Hitler," 20 July 2019 Tuchel conceded that, even now, there are shortcomings in historians’ knowledge of the resistance and promised more research in the coming years into the role of women who opposed the Nazi dictatorship, responding to a recent call from parliament. Washington Post, "Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler," 19 July 2019 Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile, steps to the front line against the dictatorship that speaks in the name of the Left. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "In a United Nations Report, a Socialist Details Venezuela’s Horrors," 17 July 2019 In it, Dorfman recalls his years of exile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. New York Times, "Readers Add to the List of Best Memoirs Since 1969," 16 July 2019 After his parents defected to the North, the younger Choe, who was left behind in the South, lived under surveillance during the military dictatorship. Choe Sang-hun, BostonGlobe.com, "South Korean defects to the North, following in his parents’ footsteps," 8 July 2019

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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Statistics for dictatorship

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for dictatorship

The first known use of dictatorship was in 1542

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English Language Learners Definition of dictatorship

: rule by a dictator : rule, control, or leadership by one person with total power
: a government or country in which total power is held by a dictator or a small group

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Comments on dictatorship

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


to shake or wave menacingly

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