[dik-tey-ter-ship, dik-tey-]
See more synonyms for dictatorship on Thesaurus.com
  1. a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.
  2. absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.
  3. the office or position held by a dictator.

Origin of dictatorship

First recorded in 1580–90; dictator + -ship
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dictatorship

Contemporary Examples of dictatorship

Historical Examples of dictatorship

British Dictionary definitions for dictatorship


  1. the rank, office, or period of rule of a dictator
  2. government by a dictator or dictators
  3. a country ruled by a dictator or dictators
  4. absolute or supreme power or authority
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 dictatorship

1580s, from dictator + -ship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dictatorship in Culture


Government by a single person or by a junta or other group that is not responsible to the people or their elected representatives.


Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were dictators.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.