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an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.
a person invested with or claiming to exercise absolute authority.
a person who behaves in an authoritarian manner; a domineering person.
Contemporary Examples

Nothing humbles an autocrat quite like the need to grub for votes.
Memo: The Aaron Sorkin Model of Political Discourse Doesn’t Actually Work Megan McArdle April 22, 2013

These reforms were mostly designed to reassure Sunnis and Kurds that Maliki would not become an autocrat.
How Iran and America Can Beat ISIS Together Ben Van Heuvelen June 20, 2014

Historical Examples

The cautious friar accordingly held his peace and his place, and there was none to dispute the sway of the autocrat.
History of the United Netherlands, 1600-09, Vol. IV. Complete John Lothrop Motley

She has always had the germ of the ruler and autocrat in her soul.
Fair to Look Upon Mary Belle Freeley

In the succeeding years he lived as an autocrat and a patriarch amid his farms and his herds, respected by many and feared by all.
The Great Boer War Arthur Conan Doyle

But when this autocrat had made up his mind, objections were brushed aside.
The Story of Russia R. Van Bergen, M.A.

Captain Candage, deposed as autocrat for the moment, seemed to be uncertain as to his duties.
Blow The Man Down Holman Day

Continued rule for half a generation must turn a man into an autocrat.
The War in South Africa Arthur Conan Doyle

It argued no ordinary confidence on the part of the intriguer to speak in such a fashion of the autocrat of All the Russias.
The International Spy Allen Upward

He found it extremely difficult, autocrat as he was, to put it into words.
The Arbiter Lady F. E. E. Bell

a ruler who possesses absolute and unrestricted authority
a domineering or dictatorial person

an absolute monarch who rules with unlimited authority; by extension, any person with undisputed authority in a relationship or situation
Word Origin

Greek autokrates ‘ruling by oneself’

1803, from French autocrate, from Greek autokrates “ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic,” from autos- “self” (see auto-) + kratia “rule,” from kratos “strength, power” (see -cracy). First used by Robert Southey, with reference to Napoleon. An earlier form was autocrator (1789), used in reference to the Russian Czars. Earliest form in English is the fem. autocratress (1762).


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