[dik-tuh-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-]
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  1. of or relating to a dictator or dictatorship.
  2. appropriate to, or characteristic of, a dictator; absolute; unlimited: dictatorial powers in wartime.
  3. 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 formsdic·ta·to·ri·al·ly, adverbdic·ta·to·ri·al·ness, nounnon·dic·ta·to·ri·al, adjectivenon·dic·ta·to·ri·al·ly, adverbnon·dic·ta·to·ri·al·ness, nounsem·i·dic·ta·to·ri·al, adjectivesem·i·dic·ta·to·ri·al·ly, adverbsem·i·dic·ta·to·ri·al·ness, nounun·dic·ta·to·ri·al, adjectiveun·dic·ta·to·ri·al·ly, adverb

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dictatorial


  1. of or characteristic of a dictator
  2. tending to dictate; tyrannical; overbearing
Derived Formsdictatorially, adverbdictatorialness, 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 dictatorial

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper