[ toh-tal-i-tair-ee-uhn ]
/ toʊˌtæl ɪˈtɛər i ən /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: totalitarian / totalitarians on Thesaurus.com


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.
exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others; authoritarian; autocratic.


an adherent of totalitarianism.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of totalitarian

First recorded in 1925–30; totalit(y) + -arian

OTHER WORDS FROM totalitarian

an·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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for totalitarian

British Dictionary definitions for totalitarian

/ (təʊˌtælɪˈtɛərɪən) /


of, denoting, relating to, or characteristic of a dictatorial one-party state that regulates every realm of life


a person who advocates or practises totalitarian policies

Derived forms of totalitarian

totalitarianism, 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