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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Today, their role has been taken up by a handful of prominent dynasties in fashion, collectors and benefactors who’ve thrown their financial muscle behind private museums and organizations devoted to nurturing young talent. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Inside the Interactive Maze Gripping the Milan Art World," 27 Sep. 2018 The similarities between their and Ocasio-Cortez’s victories are striking: Lee and Innamorato crushed Paul and Dom Costa, members of a powerful Democratic dynasty in Western Pennsylvania. Chris Brennan, Philly.com, "The left-wing uprising that led to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory in N.Y.? It happened first in Pa. | Clout," 6 July 2018 The founding of the original site of the Mission San Antonio de Valero, on May 1, 1718, was followed four days later by the founding of the presidio in the name of King Philip V, or Felipe V, founder of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Spanish royals’ itinerary in San Antonio: history, art and, of course, food," 15 June 2018 Since the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty in 1911, successive regimes have been obsessed about popularising just one of them: Mandarin. The Economist, "China is becoming more tolerant of some regional Han languages," 17 May 2018 The patriarch of a political dynasty watched his son George W. Bush go on to become the 43rd President. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "George H.W. Bush Has Died at Age 94," 1 Dec. 2018 Sisters raised in a political dynasty together, stay together. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Laura Bush Celebrates Barbara and Jenna's Birthday with a Sweet Throwback Instagram Post," 26 Nov. 2018 The dynasties mentioned above are all white and Protestant or Catholic. Mark Schmitt, Vox, "Is dynastic politics on the way out?," 20 Nov. 2018 Swinehart, a historian and biographer, is completing a book about the political dynasty of William Johnson. Kirk Davis Swinehart, WSJ, "‘Claggett’ Review: Newport’s Illustrious Clocks," 16 Nov. 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.

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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

3 Jan 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 \
plural dynasties

Kids Definition of dynasty

: a series of rulers of the same family

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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

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