[ dik-tey-ter-ship, dik-tey- ]
/ dɪkˈteɪ tərˌʃɪp, ˈdɪk teɪ- /


a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.
absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.
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. 2020

Examples from the Web for dictatorship

British Dictionary definitions for dictatorship

/ (dɪkˈteɪtəˌʃɪp) /


the rank, office, or period of rule of a dictator
government by a dictator or dictators
a country ruled by a dictator or dictators
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

Cultural definitions for dictatorship


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

notes for dictatorship

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.