- Despotism is defined as a situation in which a ruler has absolute power.
A monarchy where a king has absolute power is an example of despotism.
despotism definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- rule or domination by a despot; autocracy
- the methods or acts of a despot; tyranny
- a political system, state, etc. dominated by a despot
Origin: French despotisme
despotism definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- Rule by or as if by a despot; absolute power or authority.
- The actions of a despot; tyranny.
- a. A government or political system in which the ruler exercises absolute power: “Kerensky has a place in history, of a brief interlude between despotisms” (William Safire).b. A state so ruled.
despotism - Cultural Definition
Unlimited political rule by one person.
- The term usually suggests unscrupulous rule, or tyranny.