of, relating to, or of the nature of a despot or despotism; autocratic; tyrannical.

Also des·pot·i·cal.

Origin of despotic

1640–50; < French despotique < Greek despotikós. See despot, -ic
Related formsdes·pot·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·des·pot·ic, adjectivenon·des·pot·i·cal·ly, adverbun·des·pot·ic, adjectiveun·des·pot·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for despotic

absolute, authoritarian, autocratic, oppressive, tyrannical

Examples from the Web for despotic

Contemporary Examples of despotic

Historical Examples of despotic

  • What peace can he have with those over whom he exercises his despotic sway?



  • Nor have the terms of truce been yet devised, on which the despotic ruler may rely with confidence.



  • Punishment is ever prompt in this country, and despotic methods prevail.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • In all countries custom has much power; but in the East it is despotic.

  • What a rebel against authority you are for one so despotic yourself!


    Charles James Lever

Word Origin and History for despotic

1640s, from French despotique (14c.), from Greek despotikos, from despotes (see despot). Related: Despotical; despotically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper