tin god

tin god

noun
1.
a self-important, dictatorial person in a position of authority, as an employer, military officer, critic, or teacher.
2.
a person who considers himself or herself infallible and tries to impose judgments, beliefs, standards of behavior, etc., on subordinates.
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World English Dictionary
tin god
 
n
1.  a self-important dictatorial person
2.  a person erroneously regarded as holy or venerable

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tin god

A self-important, dictatorial, petty person who imposes ideas, beliefs, and standards on subordinates. For example, The officials in these small towns often act like tin gods. The tin in this expression alludes to the fact that tin is a base metal with relatively little value. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Synonyms
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