- A totalitarian leader of a dictatorship. They wield absolute authority, usually to the detriment of the people (evil dictator), however, there are cases (such as benevolent dictators) where they are beneficial.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
DICTATOR, n. The chief of a nation that prefers the pestilence of
despotism to the plague of anarchy.
- 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
Dic*ta"tor (?), n. [L.]
1. One who dictates; one who prescribes rules
and maxims authoritatively for the direction of others.
2. One invested with absolute authority;
especially, a magistrate created in times of exigence and distress,
and invested with unlimited power.
Invested with the authority of a dictator, nay,
of a pope, over our language. Macaulay.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Dictator, a magistrate invested with absolute authority in ancient
republican Rome in times of exigence and danger; the constitution obliged
him to resign his authority at the end of six months, till which time he
was free without challenge afterwards to do whatever the interest of the
commonwealth seemed to him to require; the most famous dictators were
Cincinnatus, Camillus, Sulla, and Cæsar, who was the last to be invested
with this power; the office ceased with the fall of the republic, or
rather, was merged in the perpetual dictatorship of the emperor.
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