- 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.
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.