Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.


1. A ruler with absolute power.
2. A person who wields power oppressively; a tyrant.
a. A Byzantine emperor or prince.
b. An Eastern Orthodox bishop or patriarch.

[French despote, from Medieval Latin despota, from Greek despotēs, master; see dem- in Indo-European roots.]

des·pot′ic (dĭ-spŏt′ĭk) adj.
des·pot′i·cal·ly adv.
باسْتِبْداد، بِصورَة طاغِيَه
zsarnoki módon
meî harîstjórn; meî einræîi


[desˈpɒtɪkəlɪ] ADVdespóticamente


[dɛsˈpɒtɪklɪ] advdispoticamente


(ˈdespot) , ((American) -pət) noun
a person (usually the king or ruler of a country) with absolute power, often a tyrant.
deˈspotic adjective
deˈspotically adverb
ˈdespotism (-pə-) noun
absolute power or tyranny.
References in classic literature ?
Now these differ from each other; for some possess only kingly power regulated by law, and rule those who voluntarily submit to their government; others rule despotically according to their own will.
Today in Catalonia there is a clear dissociation between the democratic will of citizens and the central government, which has set out to take over the people's institutions and control them despotically.
In so doing, her study contributes to blurring the distinction that traditionally has represented the Spanish Empire as the opposite of the British colonies, the former being ruled despotically and the latter being characterized by political representation and a large degree of self-rule.
This is the worst pattern of Sherman's professional life, the pattern buried in his Memoirs and resisted by so many of his biographers: when given military power over civilians, he used it despotically, with a ruthless bloodlust shared by almost none of his contemporaries.
Here, British liberals found themselves confronted by the unfortunate need--the "terrible necessity" as The Economist expressed it--to rule despotically in the name of liberalism.
It said the city 'must not act arbitrarily, whimsically or despotically regardless of the ordinance's salutary purpose.
This honor is achieved through governing of the world in compliance with divine wisdom and love, and not despotically.
In another of his tweets, KeneE- underlined that Davutoy-lu is no different from Turkey's rulers of the past who despotically ruled the country, given his discrimination against various segments of the society.
If a performance or scheme despotically prevails over the option and self-determination of individuals, therefore breaching their capacity to self-govern (as a unified group of citizens), then they are unacceptable.
Revolutionary legislators in France legitimized their disapproval of the traditional family structure--inextricably linked to the monarchy they detested--by ensuring that "the contractual association of free individuals was now supposed to replace the patriarchal family despotically controlled by the father as the fundamental unit of the new polity" (Hunt 42).
Ruling others despotically, subjecting their interests to one's own and denying them a role in the deliberation and decision-making that govern their lives, is ignoble and hence bad for the person who does it (VII.
The province in the region was despotically ruled by the Sikhs followers of an Indian founded religion under the reign of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh who ruled for fifty years.