dynasty

noun
dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē How to pronounce dynasty (audio) also -ˌna-stē, especially British ˈdi-nə-stē\
plural dynasties

Definition of dynasty

1 : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent (see descent sense 1a) a dynasty that ruled China for nearly 300 years
2 : a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time born into a powerful political dynasty a baseball dynasty

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Other Words from dynasty

dynastic \ dī-​ˈna-​stik How to pronounce dynastic (audio) \ adjective
dynastically \ dī-​ˈna-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dynastically (audio) \ adverb

Sports Dynasties

Dynasty has been in use in English for over 600 years, for most of that time referring to a ruling family that maintains power through succession. Around the beginning of the 19th century, the word developed the figurative sense “a group or family that dominates a particular field for generations.” Nowadays, this sense of dynasty is often applied to a sports franchise which has a prolonged run of successful seasons. The sports use appears to have begun in the early 20th century. An article in The Washington Post in 1905 refers to “John T. Brush’s baseball dynasty,” and by 1912 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that “if players were free agents at the end of every two years, baseball dynasties such as those built up by the Cubs, Athletics, Detroits and Giants would not be possible.”

Dynasty Has Greek Roots

Dynast and dynasty both descend from the Greek verb dynasthai, which means "to be able" or "to have power." Dynasty came to prominence in English first; it has been part of our language since at least the 14th century. Dynast took its place in the linguistic family line in the early 1600s, and it has been used to describe sovereigns and other rulers ever since.

Examples of dynasty in a Sentence

a dynasty that ruled China for nearly 300 years There was a civil war during the dynasty. She was born into a powerful political dynasty.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The 10 people who allegedly raided the embassy in Madrid belong to a mysterious dissident organization that styles itself as a government-in-exile dedicated to toppling the ruling Kim family dynasty. Eric Talmadge, The Seattle Times, "N. Korea calls for investigation into Madrid embassy attack," 31 Mar. 2019 North Korea has long used military parades to flaunt its hardware and extol the ruling Kim dynasty. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "North Korea Plans to Flaunt Firepower in Military Parade as U.S. Talks Stall," 7 Sep. 2018 The problem is that North Korea sees its nuclear weapons as an invaluable insurance policy against the U.S. invading and attempting to topple the Kim dynasty. Alexander Smith /, NBC News, "Best and worst-case scenarios for Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un," 11 June 2018 Across the border in Pyongyang, however, the ruling Kim dynasty resolutely declined to follow. Bloomberg.com, "Why Doesn’t North Korea Want to Be More Like Its Neighbors?," 23 May 2018 And in what would be a daunting intra-party fight with the scion of an American political dynasty, Markey’s most potent weapon is his long record in Congress. Jazmine Ulloa, BostonGlobe.com, "Markey’s re-election bid is built on a long record highlighted by Green New Deal," 26 Aug. 2019 Direct rule would bypass Kashmir’s fossilised political dynasties, dragging the state into the political mainstream. The Economist, "Modi’s revocation of Kashmir’s autonomy," 9 Aug. 2019 The Hunter name represents something of a political dynasty in the area — his father captured the seat in 1980 and held it until his son was elected in 2008. CBS News, "Judge to make key decisions for indicted congressman Duncan Hunter's trial," 8 July 2019 The Hunter name represents something of a political dynasty in the area — his father captured the seat in 1980 and held it until his son was elected in 2008. Washington Post, "Judge will rule on key pretrial motions for congressman," 8 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dynasty

Middle English dynastia, dynastie "power, sovereignty, succession of rulers," borrowed from Medieval Latin dynastīa, going back to Late Latin, "rule, power," borrowed from Greek dynasteía "arbitrarily exercised political power, lordship, rule," from dynástēs "holder of political power, lord, ruler" + -eia -y entry 2 — more at dynast

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Dictionary Entries near dynasty

dynast

Dynastes

dynasticism

dynasty

dynatron

dyne

dynein

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dynasty

The first known use of dynasty was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for dynasty

dynasty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dynasty

: a family of rulers who rule over a country for a long period of time also : the period of time when a particular dynasty is in power
: a family, team, etc., that is very powerful or successful for a long period of time

dynasty

noun
dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē How to pronounce dynasty (audio) \
plural dynasties

Kids Definition of dynasty

: a series of rulers of the same family

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