Definition of despot in English:


Line breaks: des¦pot
Pronunciation: /ˈdɛspɒt


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 minor Christian ruler under the Turkish empire. The current sense dates from the late 18th century.

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