V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. a ruler with absolute power and authority; 2. someone who exercises power in a tyrannical manner

Synonyms: autocrat, dictator, tyrant, oppressor

Antonyms: democrat, capitalist

Tips: Despot comes from the Greek word despotes, "master or lord." It gradually came to mean not simply a ruler (who might be just and enlightened), but "someone who rules in a tyrannical manner." The related noun despotism refers to the despotic exercise of power.

Usage Examples:

The despot ruled the tiny nation with an iron fist, jailing or executing anyone who dared to disagree with him. (tyrant, dictator)

The children hated the despotic teacher for his cruel punishments. (tyrannical) adjective

My sister's boss is a despot who controls his company through strict rules and regulations. (autocrat, tyrant)

The despot squelched any sign of revolt from his people by sending in troops to areas of unrest. (dictator, oppressor)

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