dictatorship

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Such outrageous stories and outsized personalities make for good subjects, of course, and the viewer is mainly treated to examples of presumption and ego-gratification that are often par for the course where dictatorship is concerned. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Kingmaker': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 Bolsonaro has insulted adversaries and allies, disparaged women, black and gay people, and even praised his country's 1964-1985 dictatorship. Anchorage Daily News, "G-7 pledges funds to fight Amazon fires," 26 Aug. 2019 Bolsonaro has insulted adversaries and allies, disparaged women, black and gay people, and praised his country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship. Christopher Torchia, BostonGlobe.com, "G-7 nations pledge $40 million to fight Amazon fires," 26 Aug. 2019 His right-wing designs on the Amazon hearken back to an earlier era: the military dictatorship that governed the country from 1964 to 1985, which Bolsonaro has variously praised and chided for insufficient brutality against dissidents. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "What Indigenous Rights Have to Do With Fighting Climate Change," 7 Aug. 2019 So rather than Trump showing Kim the benefits of peaceful engagement with the rest of the world, Trump learned a bit more about what dictatorship has to offer. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Thought North Korea’s State TV Was Even Better Than Fox: Report," 15 June 2018 And Trump’s affection for dictatorships is squandering the high ground our country has historically been able to occupy, even in the face of our imperfections and inconsistencies. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: Trump’s China policy focuses on trade, yet ignores our values," 15 Aug. 2019 With neither a war to justify his repressive dictatorship, nor any promise of reforms to placate long-suffering citizens, Issaias’s grip on power seems to be weakening. The Economist, "Eritrea’s gulag state is crumbling," 11 July 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dictatorship

Statistics for dictatorship

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dictatorship

The first known use of dictatorship was in 1542

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dictatorship

dictatorship

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!