Definition of dictator in English:


Line breaks: dic|ta¦tor
Pronunciation: /dɪkˈteɪtə


  • 1A ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force.
    More example sentences
    • Nevertheless, even absolute monarchs or totalitarian dictators are constrained by forces beyond their control.
    • First of all, we have been supporting despots, dictators, and oligarchs in all those states for a variety of purposes.
    • Moreover, American distrust of government has long fed on the abuses of state power abroad, whether by despotic monarchs, fascist dictators or communist tyrants.
  • 1.1A person who behaves in an autocratic way.
    More example sentences
    • They are not representative of the public and are behaving like dictators.
    • But golf is also such a threat to autocrats and dictators because it is a game that is built around the rule of law - namely the Rules of Golf.
    • The ability of the surgeon to allow himself to become a partner, not a dictator, is critical.
  • 1.2(In ancient Rome) a chief magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency.
    More example sentences
    • He defeated Pompey's troops in many battles and became the dictator of Rome.
    • Gaius Octavius, as Augustus was originally known, was 18 when in 43 BC his great-uncle, the dictator Julius Caesar, was assassinated.
    • In the early first century BC the dictator Sulla sought to eliminate his opponents by ‘proscribing’ the names of all those who were declared to be traitors.


late Middle English: from Latin, from dictat- 'dictated', from the verb dictare (see dictate).

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