authoritarian

[uh-thawr-i-tair-ee-uh n, uh-thor-]

adjective

favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom: authoritarian principles; authoritarian attitudes.
of or relating to a governmental or political system, principle, or practice in which individual freedom is held as completely subordinate to the power or authority of the state, centered either in one person or a small group that is not constitutionally accountable to the people.
exercising complete or almost complete control over the will of another or of others: an authoritarian parent.

noun

a person who favors or acts according to authoritarian principles.

Nearby words

  1. authoress,
  2. authorial,
  3. authoring,
  4. authorisation,
  5. authorise,
  6. authoritarian personality,
  7. authoritarianism,
  8. authoritative,
  9. authority,
  10. authority control

Origin of authoritarian

First recorded in 1875–80; authorit(y) + -arian

Related formsau·thor·i·tar·i·an·ism, nounan·ti·au·thor·i·tar·i·an, adjectivean·ti·au·thor·i·tar·i·an·ism, nounnon·au·thor·i·tar·i·an, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for authoritarian


British Dictionary definitions for authoritarian

authoritarian

adjective

favouring, denoting, or characterized by strict obedience to authority
favouring, denoting, or relating to government by a small elite with wide powers
despotic; dictatorial; domineering

noun

a person who favours or practises authoritarian policies
Derived Formsauthoritarianism, 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

Word Origin and History for authoritarian

authoritarian

adj.

1862, "favoring imposed order over freedom," from authority + -an. Cf. authoritative, which originally had this meaning to itself. Noun in the sense of one advocating or practicing such governance is from 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper