Definition of autocrat in English:



  • 1A ruler who has absolute power.

    • ‘We understand we are making the terrorists, dictators and autocrats nervous.’
    • ‘They established a framework for a strongly authoritarian government and placed no limitations on the powers of the autocrat.’
    • ‘Such security measures have always been associated with autocrats who are profoundly aware of the depth of the popular hatred they arouse.’
    • ‘An autocrat like Genghis Khan who imposes his will on others, without any reference to principles, does not operate in the realm of justice.’
    • ‘As revolution spread to Palermo, Milan and Naples it seemed as if the people of Italy could break the domination of the myriad of foreign rulers and domestic autocrats.’
    • ‘Democrats can build state capacity, probably more effectively than autocrats.’
    • ‘The fact that the extremists and autocrats have had to resort now to unspeakable violence shows how much they have failed to win the war of ideas.’
    • ‘Mind, one would not call them politicians; one would call them despots, or autocrats.’
    • ‘It has been suggested so far that the more popular or media-centred depiction of the prime minister as an autocrat may be more of a caricature than an accurate portrait.’
    • ‘Like every autocrat who has ever seized power, she insisted that she had no alternative but to sack a corrupt and treacherous government.’
    • ‘In order to justify the internal repression that is inherent in non-democratic rule, dictators and autocrats must mobilize their nation for wars against both internal and external enemies.’
    • ‘And it is evidence, observers say, that sustained political engagement, party training, and civil-society building can eventually bring down autocrats.’
    • ‘Instead, he seeks to change it by promoting liberty, freedom, and eventual democracy in countries ruled by autocrats.’
    • ‘The ageing autocrat obviously intended to remain in power at any cost and by any means.’
    • ‘Somewhere even the dictators and autocrats who send ambassadors to dialogue with ambassadors from free states know that to be true.’
    • ‘Peace required a deeply conservative political order, built on a single party, run by a paternal autocrat.’
    • ‘In other cases, autocrats have been forced to introduce modest political changes but have nonetheless managed to limit their scope and hold on to power.’
    • ‘It will always contain dictators, autocrats and murderous opportunists who will seek power and its spoils without regard for the death and suffering of others.’
    • ‘Political leaders, especially autocrats and dictators, have always used writing for propaganda purposes.’
    • ‘And he was, if you like, an absolute autocrat, a ruler.’
    absolute ruler, dictator, despot, tyrant, monocrat
    authoritarian, absolutist
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Someone who insists on complete obedience from others; an imperious or domineering person.
      • ‘The rights of individuals are no longer inalienable, nor are their persons inviolable; all depends on the good will of the Commander, the military autocrat.’
      • ‘Harvey totally looked and acted the role of bureaucratic autocrat.’
      • ‘In other words, churches had been razed on the basis of an untruth, while the laity - who generally opposed changes mandated by clerical autocrats - were expected to foot the bill.’
      • ‘On the other hand, if it all goes wrong, he might turn out to be just one more erratic autocrat relying on nationalist rhetoric and the spoils system to stay in power.’
      • ‘Whereas the former was a Machiavellian autocrat with a fascist background, the latter is a straightforward, consensus-driven and politically moderate.’
      • ‘But, in corporations, the autocrats who run these places can't leave people on their own.’
      authoritarian, totalitarian, nazi, extreme right-winger, far right-winger, rightist, blackshirt, militarist
      View synonyms


Early 19th century: from French autocrate, from Greek autokratēs, from autos self + kratos power.