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[dik-tey-ter-ship, dik-tey-] /dɪkˈteɪ tərˌʃɪp, ˈdɪk teɪ-/
a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.
absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.
the office or position held by a dictator.
Origin of dictatorship
1580-90; dictator + -ship Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dictatorship
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Both forms of dictatorship rest upon the philosophy of might as the only valid right.

    Bolshevism John Spargo
  • McClellan is now ripe for the dictatorship of the Copperheads.

  • The dictatorship of the proletariat, which gives it the favored position in the community, is only a provisional institution.

    The Red Conspiracy Joseph J. Mereto
  • The Socialist state will be a democracy, not a dictatorship.

    Socialism John Spargo
  • Any dictatorship, whether of a single man, a group or class, must rest ultimately upon oppressive and coercive force.

    Bolshevism John Spargo
British Dictionary definitions for dictatorship


the rank, office, or period of rule of a dictator
government by a dictator or dictators
a country ruled by a dictator or dictators
absolute or supreme power or authority
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 dictatorship

1580s, from dictator + -ship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dictatorship in Culture

dictatorship definition

Government by a single person or by a junta or other group that is not responsible to the people or their elected representatives.

Note: Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were dictators.
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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