American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Rule by or as if by a despot; absolute power or authority.
- n. The actions of a despot; tyranny.
- n. A government or political system in which the ruler exercises absolute power: "Kerensky has a place in history, of a brief interlude between despotisms” ( William Safire).
- n. A state so ruled.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Absolute power; authority unlimited and uncontrolled by constitutional restrictions, and depending only on the will of the prince: as, the despotism of Louis XIV.
- n. An arbitrary government; the rule of a despot; absolutism; autocracy.
- n. Figuratively, absolute power or controlling influence.
- n. Synonyms Despotism, Tyranny, Autocracy, Absolutism. All these words imply absolute power. Tyranny is the abuse of absolute power, legal or usurped, and implies oppression. Despotism, in its earlier and still frequent meaning, does not necessarily imply either regard or disregard for the welfare of the subject; but there is also a tendency to give it essentially the same meaning as tyranny, using absolutism or autocracy where an unfavorable meaning is not intended. See oppression.
- n. government by a singular authority, either a single person or tight-knit group, which rules with absolute power
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The power, spirit, or principles of a despot; absolute control over others; tyrannical sway; tyranny.
- n. A government which is directed by a despot; a despotic monarchy; absolutism; autocracy.
- n. dominance through threat of punishment and violence
- n. a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
“Loud were the complaints of these gentry at what they called the despotism of the new governor-general, on finding themselves excluded from that participation in state secrets in which they had long reveled, in a country where so much advantage may be derived from knowing beforehand what is coming at headquarters.”
“Church is self-subsisting and not necessarily connected with what they call despotism, begin to regard it as a Divine institution and return to her fold. ”
“Marx envisioned cooperation among all workers - the employed and unemployed - in labor unions as the means to destroy what he called the despotism of capitalism.”
“The difference between an understandable legislative process and despotism is transparency.”
“If you believe despotism is bad now on a global scale, JUST WAIT until there is no great power which in some form or fashion advocates, encourages, and supports:”
“To accept that violence works is to accept the science of despotism from the dawn of human existence.”
“Thus the world is fated to see a steady increase in despotism, warfare, civil strife, impoverishment, fanaticism and genocide.”
“Over time, of course, Fujimori's iron hand of reform evolved into the familiar Latin American despotism, supported largely by the intrigues of Montesinos.”
“But the central thesis — that “mixed economy” style regulation leads inexorably to full-blown despotism, is by this point pretty clearly false.”
“Enlightened despotism is thus preferable to democracy: the masses require protection from themselves.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘despotism’.
Building a list for standardized test prep or just for learning some new words! Please add any words that you feel are important for the SAT/GRE/GMAT etc...
This is a mix of new words I've read studying for the GRE verbal and words I use normally. I also check back on these words if I don't use them often enough.
Words as I learn them.
Words to learn via rote repetition.
Words to remember from Melville's "The Confidence Man"
Looking for tweets for despotism.