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 victory was a catalyst for the Steelers' dynasty in the 1970s. Simmi Buttar, chicagotribune.com, "The NFL has had great nicknames in its history. Here are some of the best.," 14 June 2019 Yet the Warriors’ run of three championships in five years and five consecutive NBA Finals earns them a spot among the best five dynasties in NBA history. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Where do the Warriors rank among all-time NBA dynasties?," 14 June 2019 Five years later, 'The Klaw' is on the brink of sending home another dynasty in the Golden State Warriors. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Kawhi Leonard’s Superstar Evolution Has Another Dynasty On Its Last Legs," 10 June 2019 The Kennedys and the Kardashians are each dynasties in their own right, influencing popular culture, fashion, and even politics. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "John F. Kennedy’s Grandson Reportedly Has a Crush on Kendall Jenner," 11 Apr. 2019 Seven of the royal families are hereditary monarchies, with the northern Kedah sultanate one of the oldest unbroken dynasties in the world, dating back to the 12th century. Eileen Ng, The Seattle Times, "A look at Malaysia’s monarchy before sultans pick next king," 23 Jan. 2019 Through hard-nosed determination and ruthless drive, Joe Jackson molded, trained and cajoled his brood into one of the greatest show business dynasties in history. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, "Joe Jackson Was Left Out of Son Michael's Will: 'This Is a Decision His Son Made' Says Lawyer," 27 June 2018 The school announced the new deal Wednesday for Holloway, who has turned the Gators into a dynasty in the sport during his 16 seasons. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "UF track coach Mike Holloway signs 10-year contract extension," 23 May 2018 Winning another crown Monday night against Clemson would lift the Crimson Tide even further above other college football dynasties and into the conversation about the best runs in all of college sports. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Alabama already among greatest college dynasties," 7 Jan. 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

see dynast

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Dictionary Entries near dynasty

dynast

Dynastes

dynasticism

dynasty

dynatron

dyne

dynein

Statistics for dynasty

Last Updated

20 Jun 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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