9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dik-tey-ter, dik-tey-ter] /ˈdɪk teɪ tər, dɪkˈteɪ tər/
a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession.
(in ancient Rome) a person invested with supreme authority during a crisis, the regular magistracy being subordinated to him until the crisis was met.
a person who authoritatively prescribes conduct, usage, etc.:
a dictator of fashion.
a person who dictates, as to a secretary.
Origin of dictator
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin dictātor, equivalent to dictā(re) (see dictate) + -tor -tor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dictator
  • Khrushchev "sort of became my favorite Communist dictator—not that that's a tough list to make," he says.
  • The dictator had imperium and absolute power in all.
  • He has since sold himself as the indispensable dictator.
  • Instead, it is the replacement of one dictator with another.
  • Nevertheless, this dense study sheds light on the fierce power struggle that ended with Stalin as absolute dictator.
  • But we also need classic, political biographies that focus on the dictator himself.
  • Maybe an internet dictator or czar is in order to improve our download rates.
  • My (previous) main hobby was training to become a benevolent dictator.
  • At best, you'll have to settle for being an assistant dictator.
  • In this graphic novel, Sardine, her cousin and pirate uncle outwit the dictator of the universe.
British Dictionary definitions for dictator


  1. a ruler who is not effectively restricted by a constitution, laws, recognized opposition, etc
  2. an absolute, esp tyrannical, ruler
(in ancient Rome) a person appointed during a crisis to exercise supreme authority
a person who makes pronouncements, as on conduct, fashion, etc, which are regarded as authoritative
a person who behaves in an authoritarian or tyrannical manner
Derived Forms
dictatress (dɪkˈteɪtrɪs), dictatrix (ˈdɪktətrɪks) noun:feminine
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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Word Origin and History for dictator

late 14c., from Latin dictator, agent noun from dictare (see dictate (v.)). Transferred sense of "one who has absolute power or authority" in any sphere is from c.1600. In Latin use, a dictator was a judge in the Roman republic temporarily invested with absolute power.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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