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despotic

[dih-spot-ik]
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or of the nature of a despot or despotism; autocratic; tyrannical.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

absoluteauthoritarianautocraticoppressivetyrannical

Examples from the Web for despotic

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

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

    Hiero

    Xenophon

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

    Hiero

    Xenophon

  • 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!

    Barrington

    Charles James Lever


Word Origin and History for despotic

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper