Definition of despot noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈdespɒt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdespɑːt//
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a ruler with great power, especially one who uses it in a cruel way an enlightened despot (= one who tries to use his/her power in a good way) It is the story of a military coup which brings a brutal despot to power. Word Originmid 16th cent.: from French despote, via medieval Latin from Greek despotēs ‘master, absolute ruler’. Originally (after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople) the term denoted a minor Christian ruler under the Turkish empire. The current sense dates from the late 18th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: despot