V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


noun, adjective

Definition: (n.) 1. a ruler with absolute sovereignty; 2. someone who acts in a tyrannical manner; 3. someone who believes in an authoritarian political system; (adj.) 1. requiring strict obedience to authority

Synonyms: (n.) dictator, tyrant, autocrat, totalitarian, disciplinarian; (adj.) tyrannical, dictatorial, repressive, imperious, autocratic

Antonyms: (n.) democrat, (adj.) democratic, submissive, permissive

Tips: Authoritarian is used to describe those with authority, most often political figures, governments, parents, or teachers. The word authoritarian usually carries a harsh connotationt--almost an abuse of authority.

Usage Examples:

Some of the students objected to their teacher's authoritarian classroom policies in which, if they wanted to pass the class, they had to obey all her strict rules. (repressive, imperious) adjective

When the country's authoritarian government fell from power, it was widely believed that democracy might have a chance to take hold. (totalitarian, dictatorial, tyrannical) adjective

The authoritarian manner in which our company president runs this office is not conducive to good morale. (tyrannical, repressive) adjective

He is a strict authoritarian and always wants things done his way. (autocrat, dictator) noun

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