Definition of dynasty
1 : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent (see descent 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
dynasticplay \dī-ˈnas-tik\ adjective
dynasticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
dynasty was our Word of the Day on 11/27/2016. Hear the podcast!
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.
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.”
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of dynasty
First Known Use: 14th century
DYNASTY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dynasty for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of dynasty for Students
: a series of rulers of the same family
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up dynasty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).