Word of the Day

Sunday, October 10, 1999


\AW-tuh-krat\ , noun;
An absolute monarch who rules with unlimited authority; by extension, any person with undisputed authority in a relationship or situation.
Octavian -- a bloodthirsty ideologue in the civil wars -- was by then well on his way to reinventing himself as Rome's benevolent autocrat, its first (and almost only) 'good' Emperor, Augustus.
-- Mary Beard, "Cleopatra: from history to myth", The Guardian, March 18, 2003
The Russian noble is alike a serf to his autocrat, and an autocrat to his serf.
-- Herbert Spencer, Social Statics
Mistler became the agency's autocrat, and he continued as such not because of his large number of shares in the company but because . . . he was, by a long shot, better and tougher than anyone else there.
-- Louis Begley, Mistler's Exit
Mr Messier has been accused of being an autocrat and Mr Arnault was said to have quit because he felt frustrated about not being consulted on crucial decisions.
-- David Teather, "Messier could go in days", The Guardian, July 1, 2002
Autocrat is from Greek autokrates, "ruling by oneself," from auto-, "self" + -krates, "ruling," from kratos, "strength, power, rule, dominion."
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