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[aw-tuh-krat] /ˈɔ təˌkræt/
an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.
a person invested with or claiming to exercise absolute authority.
a person who behaves in an authoritarian manner; a domineering person.
Origin of autocrat
1795-1805; < Greek autokratḗs self-ruling, ruling alone, equivalent to auto- auto-1 + krat- (stem of krátos power) + -ēs adj. suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for autocrat
  • The emir does not pretend he is anything but a benevolent modernising autocrat.
  • At a simple level, it is becoming harder over time for an autocrat to cling to power for long periods of time.
  • And if they do, the sensible autocrat will squelch them as soon as possible.
  • It appears, however, that not even an unchallenged autocrat can repeal the laws of supply and demand.
  • He is an autocrat in a tough spot, looking for order.
  • Gaines is neither a my-way-or-the-highway autocrat nor a rah-rah motivator.
  • It was clear as soon as the stage lights went up that this was not some low-rent puny-autocrat shtick.
  • He was called an old autocrat who conjured up suspects by intuition, without factual intelligence information and proof.
British Dictionary definitions for autocrat


a ruler who possesses absolute and unrestricted authority
a domineering or dictatorial person
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
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Contemporary definitions for autocrat

an absolute monarch who rules with unlimited authority; by extension, any person with undisputed authority in a relationship or situation

Word Origin

Greek autokrates 'ruling by oneself''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for autocrat

1803, from French autocrate, from Greek autokrates "ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic," from autos- "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule," from kratos "strength, power" (see -cracy). First used by Robert Southey, with reference to Napoleon. An earlier form was autocrator (1789), used in reference to the Russian Czars. Earliest form in English is the fem. autocratress (1762).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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