Definition of despot in English:


Syllabification: des·pot
Pronunciation: /ˈdespət


  • A ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.
    More example sentences
    • History should have taught us that despots, nuclear powers, rogue states et al do not attack strong adversaries; they prey on the weak.
    • Here's a case where a POW was likely murdered, yet they are the same ones insisting that we leave the despot in power.
    • They have been consistent in their demands for firm international action to force the despot from power.
    tyrant, oppressor, dictator, absolute ruler, totalitarian, autocrat
    informal slave driver


mid 16th century: from French despote, via medieval Latin from Greek despotēs 'master, absolute ruler'. Originally (after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople) the term denoted a petty Christian ruler under the Turkish empire. The current sense dates from the late 18th century.

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Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little