[dik-tey-ter-ship, dik-tey-]
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.

1580–90; dictator + -ship

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dictatorship (dɪkˈteɪtəˌʃɪp)
1.  the rank, office, or period of rule of a dictator
2.  government by a dictator or dictators
3.  a country ruled by a dictator or dictators
4.  absolute or supreme power or authority

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1580s, from dictator + -ship.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences for dictatorships
This sometimes made him oblivious to the dangers of dictatorships.
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