Definitions for: Despotism

[n] a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
[n] dominance through threat of punishment and violence

Webster (1913) Definition: Des"po*tism, n. [Cf. F. despotisme.]
1. The power, spirit, or principles of a despot; absolute
control over others; tyrannical sway; tyranny. ``The
despotism of vice.'' --Byron.

2. A government which is directed by a despot; a despotic
monarchy; absolutism; autocracy.

Despotism . . . is the only form of government which
may with safety to itself neglect the education of
its infant poor. --Bp. Horsley.

Synonyms: absolutism, absolutism, authoritarianism, Caesarism, dictatorship, monocracy, one-man rule, shogunate, Stalinism, totalitarianism, tyranny, tyranny

See Also: ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, autarchy, autocracy, control, dominance, police state

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