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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dictator (audio)

Dictionary definition of dictator

An individual who holds absolute power and authority over a country or a group of people.
"The dictator ruled with an iron fist, suppressing any form of dissent."

Detailed meaning of dictator

A dictator typically exercises unchecked control, often obtained through force, and disregards democratic processes, individual rights, and the rule of law. Dictators usually assume and maintain their positions through various means, including coup d'états, authoritarian regimes, or the suppression of opposition. They wield significant influence and make unilateral decisions, imposing their will upon the populace without regard for dissenting opinions or checks and balances. Dictators tend to centralize power, stifling political opposition, restricting civil liberties, and manipulating or censoring information to maintain control. Their actions often lead to human rights abuses, corruption, economic instability, and social unrest. The term "dictator" carries a negative connotation, reflecting the oppressive and autocratic nature of those who hold such positions of power.

Example sentences containing dictator

1. The dictator's regime was marked by cruelty, keeping citizens in a state of fear.
2. International pressure is mounting to remove the dictator from his seat of power.
3. Propaganda from the dictator falsely painted him as a hero among his people.
4. The dictator amassed wealth while his countrymen suffered from immense poverty.
5. His fall from grace exposed the dictator's hidden billions in foreign banks.
6. The dictator controlled the media, stifling any form of dissent or opposition.

History and etymology of dictator

The noun 'dictator' has its etymological roots in ancient Rome. It is derived from the Latin word 'dictator,' which is formed from 'dictare,' meaning 'to dictate' or 'to command.' In ancient Rome, a 'dictator' was a temporary magistrate who was appointed during times of crisis or emergency and given absolute power and authority to make decisions and issue commands for the good of the state. This position was meant to be a temporary measure to address pressing issues, and it came with significant authority. Over time, the term 'dictator' evolved and made its way into various languages, including English, to refer to an individual who holds absolute and often oppressive power and authority over a country or a group of people, typically without the constraints of a democratic system. Thus, the etymology of 'dictator' underscores its historical connection to the concept of absolute power and command in the Roman context, which has carried through to its modern usage.

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Further usage examples of dictator

1. In history, the downfall of a dictator often stems from internal betrayal.
2. Many wondered how the dictator maintained power for so many years unchecked.
3. The dictator silenced critics through fear, often resorting to public execution.
4. Surveillance was the dictator's key tool in maintaining his oppressive regime.
5. The dictator seized power in a coup, promising change but delivering tyranny.
6. Citizens lived under the dictator's rule, their freedoms eroding day by day.
7. A dictator’s rule can destabilize a region, causing years of conflict.
8. Sanctions targeted the dictator's regime but also impacted everyday citizens.
9. Once beloved, the dictator became a pariah, isolated on the world stage.
10. The dictator’s military was loyal, ensuring his grip on power remained firm.
11. Dictators often manipulate public sentiment to validate their oppressive rule.
12. A dictator may use charisma to mask the harsh reality of authoritarianism.
13. Under the dictator, the judiciary lost its independence and became a puppet.
14. Even after death, a dictator’s impact on a nation can last for generations.Under the dictator's regime, freedom of speech and expression were severely restricted.
15. The dictator's lavish lifestyle contrasted sharply with the poverty experienced by the majority of the population.
16. The dictator's propaganda machine spread false information to manipulate public opinion.
17. The dictator's regime was characterized by widespread human rights violations and political persecution.
18. The dictator's oppressive policies led to a mass exodus of refugees fleeing their homeland.
19. The dictator's secret police maintained a constant atmosphere of fear and surveillance.
20. The dictator's cult of personality was enforced through elaborate displays of loyalty and adoration.
21. The dictator's economic mismanagement resulted in skyrocketing inflation and widespread poverty.
22. The dictator's military forces brutally suppressed any attempts at resistance or uprising.
23. The dictator's autocratic rule stifled innovation, creativity, and intellectual freedom.
24. The fall of the dictator brought a glimmer of hope for the oppressed population, marking the end of an era of tyranny.



autocrat, democrat, subordinate, follower


Suffix -or, Control and Discipline, Chasms and Carnage, Discipline and Control, Hegemony and Hierarchies, Power and Control

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