Definition of dynast in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdʌɪnast//ˈdɪnəst//ˈdʌɪnəst/


  • A member of a powerful family, especially a hereditary ruler.

    • ‘It has been secured, not by the ordinances of charismatic dynasts or Bonapartist generals, but through the continual interplay between State hegemony and critical resistance.’
    • ‘Indeed, this formulaic, strategic intermingling of text and image accentuates the use of the seated dynasts as so many redeployed archaic motifs.’
    • ‘These works commemorated the lives of early dynasts, marking rituals they performed on the occasion of calendrical period endings.’
    • ‘How much control, and what sort of control, was exercised by dynasts over the coinage of polities under their sway?’
    • ‘He was a dynast in a world system dominated by nation-states, and his appeal to democratic principles was, for that reason, tactical and politically opportunistic.’
    • ‘These aristocratic struggles were possible because, for many thousands of Italians, service in the army of one or other of the military dynasts was very greatly more profitable than agrarian pursuits.’
    • ‘Young dynasts returning from universities abroad to bite the electoral bullet, help make this undoubtedly the most yuppy election we have had so far.’
    • ‘The book centres on the rise of power of the Connacht dynasts, their constant warring among themselves and their decline brought about by endless conflict with their Kinsmen and invading Normans.’
    • ‘The urbanism of Northern dynasts was stimulated by this Mediterranean heritage, transmitted through the genre of Italian view painting.’
    • ‘The reluctant revolutionary, who emerged as the dominant figure in Milan, warned against trusting Charles Albert, the conservative, expansionist dynast.’
    • ‘The dynasts of Copan traced the legitimacy of their line to the great capitals of the central Mexican plateau.’
    • ‘But Napoleon was above all a dynast and conqueror: what he required from subject territories was men and money.’
    • ‘H. von Hesburg examines the implications of the appearance of early Hellenistic dynasts on the stage.’
    • ‘In Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, or Oman, the nation-state evolves in a political environment shaped by the dynast, his family, and their effective concentration of power.’
    • ‘For one thing the elective crown was always an attraction to ambitious dynasts, and for another a collapse would upset the political balance in central Europe.’
    • ‘Those ancien régime dynasts and statesmen knew what they were doing.’
    • ‘The new France, it declared, would only fight to preserve its national territory from attack and not to honour the private compacts of dynasts.’
    • ‘From Bactria Alexander moved into India at the invitation of the local dynasts of the Kabul valley and Punjab.’
    • ‘Difficult though the marriage proved to be, it enabled William to play the dynast and laid the foundation for his intervention in England's affairs in November 1688.’
    • ‘The two dynasts also privately share a feeling of having had their intelligence underestimated.’


Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek dunastēs, from dunasthai ‘be able’.