Why was clemency trending last week?


[uh-thawr-i-tair-ee-uh n, uh-thor-] /əˌθɔr ɪˈtɛər i ən, əˌθɒr-/
favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom:
authoritarian principles; authoritarian attitudes.
of or relating to a governmental or political system, principle, or practice in which individual freedom is held as completely subordinate to the power or authority of the state, centered either in one person or a small group that is not constitutionally accountable to the people.
exercising complete or almost complete control over the will of another or of others:
an authoritarian parent.
a person who favors or acts according to authoritarian principles.
Origin of authoritarian
1875-80; authorit(y) + -arian
Related forms
authoritarianism, noun
antiauthoritarian, adjective
antiauthoritarianism, noun
nonauthoritarian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for authoritarian
  • The director said he had coped with the authoritarian environment of his childhood by living in a world of fantasy.
  • The authors reveal that spanking and other authoritarian methods work against this process.
  • The group owns the individual; music to the ears of every authoritarian in the world.
  • It is there to neutralize and paralyze this state which is too strong and too authoritarian.
  • They also accuse him of using authoritarian tactics to stifle dissent.
  • Cracks are appearing in the authoritarian structure.
  • Simple definition, authoritarian governments tell you what not to do.
  • We try to find that reason and deal with it on a human, not an authoritarian level.
  • The first step is in admitting to being an authoritarian.
  • He allied himself with the church to organize society on a hierarchical and authoritarian structure.
British Dictionary definitions for authoritarian


favouring, denoting, or characterized by strict obedience to authority
favouring, denoting, or relating to government by a small elite with wide powers
despotic; dictatorial; domineering
a person who favours or practises authoritarian policies
Derived Forms
authoritarianism, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for authoritarian

1862, "favoring imposed order over freedom," from authority + -an. Cf. authoritative, which originally had this meaning to itself. Noun in the sense of one advocating or practicing such governance is from 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for authoritarian

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for authoritarian

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with authoritarian