despotism

despotism

[des-puh-tiz-uhm]
noun
1.
the rule of a despot; the exercise of absolute authority.
2.
absolute power or control; tyranny.
3.
an absolute or autocratic government.
4.
a country ruled by a despot.

Origin:
1720–30; < French despotisme. See despot, -ism

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Collins
World English Dictionary
despotism (ˈdɛspəˌtɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the rule of a despot; arbitrary, absolute, or tyrannical government
2.  arbitrary or tyrannical authority or behaviour

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

despotism
mid-18c., from Fr. despotisme; see despot + -ism.
"All education is despotism." [William Godwin, "Enquirer," 1797]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
despotism [(des-puh-tiz-uhm)]

Unlimited political rule by one person.

Note: The term usually suggests unscrupulous rule, or tyranny.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Synonyms
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