• synonyms


[toh-tal-i-tair-ee-uh n]
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  1. of or relating to a centralized government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life.
  2. exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others; authoritarian; autocratic.
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  1. an adherent of totalitarianism.
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Origin of totalitarian

First recorded in 1925–30; totalit(y) + -arian
Related formsan·ti·to·tal·i·tar·i·an, adjectivenon·to·tal·i·tar·i·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for totalitarian

authoritarian, oppressive, monolithic, autocratic, tyrannical, undemocratic, communist, total, absolute, totalistic, Nazi, despotic, fascistic

Examples from the Web for totalitarian

Contemporary Examples of totalitarian

Historical Examples of totalitarian

British Dictionary definitions for totalitarian


  1. of, denoting, relating to, or characteristic of a dictatorial one-party state that regulates every realm of life
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  1. a person who advocates or practises totalitarian policies
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Derived Formstotalitarianism, noun

Word Origin for totalitarian

from totality + -arian
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 totalitarian


1926, first in reference to Italian fascism, formed in English on model of Italian totalitario "complete, absolute, totalitarian," from the Italian cognate of English total (adj.). The noun is recorded from 1938.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper