Autocratic describes a way of ruling, but not in a nice way. An autocratic leader is one who rules with an iron fist; in other words — someone with the behavior of a dictator.

Autocratic rulers don't tend to be popular. They use fear and control to gain total power over their people. Often, their country is left destitute as a result of their actions. The word autocratic is often used to describe the head of a country, but really, anyone who is a despotic leader can qualify — including the boss who threatens to fire you if you refuse to polish his shoes and work every holiday.

Definitions of autocratic

adj characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty

autocratic government”
authoritarian, despotic, dictatorial, tyrannic, tyrannical
not in agreement with or according to democratic doctrine or practice or ideals

adj offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power

“an autocratic person”
autocratic behavior”
bossy, dominating, high-and-mighty, magisterial, peremptory
tending to domineer

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