an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.
a person invested with or claiming to exercise absolute authority.
a person who behaves in an authoritarian manner; a domineering person.

Origin of autocrat

1795–1805; < Greek autokratḗs self-ruling, ruling alone, equivalent to auto- auto-1 + krat- (stem of krátos power) + -ēs adj. suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for autocrat

Contemporary Examples of autocrat

Historical Examples of autocrat

  • The implicit obedience this autocrat commanded set them in a whirl.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • It appeased and disarmed this anarchist who was also an autocrat.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • She has always had the germ of the ruler and autocrat in her soul.

    Fair to Look Upon

    Mary Belle Freeley

  • The Irish Minister for Agriculture by no means rules as an autocrat.

    Home Rule

    Harold Spender

  • But when this autocrat had made up his mind, objections were brushed aside.

    The Story of Russia

    R. Van Bergen, M.A.

British Dictionary definitions for autocrat



a ruler who possesses absolute and unrestricted authority
a domineering or dictatorial person
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 autocrat

1803, from French autocrate, from Greek autokrates "ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic," from autos- "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule," from kratos "strength, power" (see -cracy). First used by Robert Southey, with reference to Napoleon. An earlier form was autocrator (1789), used in reference to the Russian Czars. Earliest form in English is the fem. autocratress (1762).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper