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[dik-tuh-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ˌdɪk təˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/
of or relating to a dictator or dictatorship.
appropriate to, or characteristic of, a dictator; absolute; unlimited:
dictatorial powers in wartime.
inclined to dictate or command; imperious; overbearing:
a dictatorial attitude.
Origin of dictatorial
1695-1705; < Latin dictātōri(us) (equivalent to dictā(re) (see dictate) + -tōrius -tory1) + -al1
Related forms
dictatorially, adverb
dictatorialness, noun
nondictatorial, adjective
nondictatorially, adverb
nondictatorialness, noun
semidictatorial, adjective
semidictatorially, adverb
semidictatorialness, noun
undictatorial, adjective
undictatorially, adverb
2. totalitarian. 3. despotic, tyrannical, autocratic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dictatorial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let it not be supposed that her temper was either sour or dictatorial.

    The Exiles of Faloo Barry Pain
  • It is the work of a cold, calculating, and dictatorial nature.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • He prescribes with dictatorial omniscience what is good, what is bad, what should be practised and what avoided.

  • For, at sixteen, a girl cannot fast for long, and country air is dictatorial.

    The Devil's Pool George Sand
  • If you find her refractory, be patient and persuasive, instead of dictatorial.

    At Last Marion Harland
British Dictionary definitions for dictatorial


of or characteristic of a dictator
tending to dictate; tyrannical; overbearing
Derived Forms
dictatorially, adverb
dictatorialness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dictatorial

1701; see dictator + -ial. Related: Dictatorially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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