dynasty

noun
dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē also -ˌnas-tē , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dynasty

dynastic \ dī-​ˈnas-​tik \ adjective
dynastically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Massachusetts and the rest of New England will eventually be worn down by all the trophies, confetti and a dynasty that never quits. WSJ, "Another Day, Another Title in New England," 4 Feb. 2019 But, while the idea of being a modern member of a deposed dynasty has its appeal, that isn’t what’s at the show’s heart. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Matthew Weiner Says Being a Romanoff Is "Almost Like Saying You’re a Kennedy"," 14 Oct. 2018 Armed with a 105-millimeter M68 gun, thermal imaging sights, Chobham composite matrix armor and a gas turbine engine, the M1 was a revolutionary tank and a clean break from a dynasty of tanks that stretched back to the closing days of World War II. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s Next 'Tank' Could Look Like Anything," 11 Oct. 2018 This is a man who has many facets and, ultimately, has created a notorious football dynasty. Fox News, "'Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time' by Ian O'Connor," 25 Sep. 2018 Albert Smith — untouched by the soldiers’ potshots — survived to found a modest dynasty of Smiths who have periodically honored his memory with Old Town flag-raisings. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Richard Smith joins 172-year family history of Old Town flag-waving," 23 June 2018 AISD Photo courtesy Buchanan, who arrived in 1993, built Aledo football into a dynasty. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Big news out of Aledo regarding athletic director Tim Buchanan," 21 June 2018 As a preps standout at Westminster Christian, DiMare looked on from a distance as Fraser began turning UM into a dynasty. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "He follows legends, but UM's new baseball coach is ready to 'create our own history'," 19 June 2018 This summer offers the best chance since the Warriors announced themselves as a dynasty for the league to come up with a corrective, for some number of teams to mount a credible charge. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The Warriors' All but Inevitable Victory," 9 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of dynasty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dynasty

see dynast

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dynasty

Listen to Our Podcast about dynasty

Dictionary Entries near dynasty

dynast

Dynastes

dynasticism

dynasty

dynatron

dyne

dynein

Statistics for dynasty

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dynasty

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
plural dynasties

Kids Definition of dynasty

: a series of rulers of the same family

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dynasty

Spanish Central: Translation of dynasty

Nglish: Translation of dynasty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dynasty for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dynasty

Comments on dynasty

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

WORD OF THE DAY

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!