A dynasty is a series of leaders in the same family, like the British Royal Family, or a local business dynasty, in which four generations have made their fortune at the family store.

The word dynasty, pronounced "DIE-nas-tee," comes from the Greek word dynasteia, meaning "power, lordship, sovereignty." If you are part of a dynasty, you probably do have power — and also wealth, privilege. But there is also pressure to achieve as much as your parents, grandparents, and other relatives. Another kind of dynasty is found in sports — a team that wins many championships is a dynasty.

Definitions of dynasty

n a sequence of powerful leaders in the same family

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Bourbon, Bourbon dynasty
a European royal line that ruled in France (from 1589-1793) and Spain and Naples and Sicily
Capetian dynasty
a Frankish dynasty founded by Hugh Capet that ruled from 987 to 1328
Carlovingian dynasty, Carolingian dynasty
a Frankish dynasty founded by Charlemagne's father that ruled from 751 to 987
Flavian dynasty
a dynasty of Roman Emperors from 69 to 96 including Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian
Han, Han dynasty
imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time from 206 BC to AD 220) and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy; remembered as one of the great eras of Chinese civilization
Hanover, Hanoverian line, House of Hanover
the English royal house that reigned from 1714 to 1901 (from George I to Victoria)
Habsburg, Hapsburg
a royal German family that provided rulers for several European states and wore the crown of the Holy Roman Empire from 1440 to 1806
a German noble family that ruled Brandenburg and Prussia
House of Lancaster, Lancaster, Lancastrian line
the English royal house that reigned from 1399 to 1461; its emblem was a red rose
Liao, Liao dynasty
the dynasty that ruled much of Manchuria and northeastern China from 947 to 1125
Merovingian, Merovingian dynasty
a Frankish dynasty founded by Clovis I that reigned in Gaul and Germany from about 500 to 750
Ming, Ming dynasty
the imperial dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644
Ottoman, Ottoman dynasty
the Turkish dynasty that ruled the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century to its dissolution after World War I
Plantagenet, Plantagenet line
the family name of a line of English kings that reigned from 1154 to 1485
Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemy
an ancient dynasty of Macedonian kings who ruled Egypt from 323 BC to 30 BC; founded by Ptolemy I and ended with Cleopatra
Ch'in, Ch'in dynasty, Qin, Qin dynasty
the Chinese dynasty (from 246 BC to 206 BC) that established the first centralized imperial government and built much of the Great Wall
Ch'ing, Ch'ing dynasty, Manchu, Manchu dynasty, Qing, Qing dynasty
the last imperial dynasty of China (from 1644 to 1912) which was overthrown by revolutionaries; during the Qing dynasty China was ruled by the Manchu
Romanoff, Romanov
the Russian imperial line that ruled from 1613 to 1917
the name of the royal family that ruled Great Britain from 1901-1917; the name was changed to Windsor in 1917 in response to anti-German feelings in World War I
any one of the Turkish dynasties that ruled Asia Minor from the 11th to the 13th centuries; they successfully invaded Byzantium and defended the Holy Land against Crusaders
Shang, Shang dynasty
the imperial dynasty ruling China from about the 18th to the 12th centuries BC
the royal family that ruled Scotland from 1371-1714 and ruled England from 1603 to 1649 and again from 1660 to 1714
Song, Song dynasty, Sung, Sung dynasty
the imperial dynasty of China from 960 to 1279; noted for art and literature and philosophy
Tang, Tang dynasty
the imperial dynasty of China from 618 to 907
House of Tudor, Tudor
an English dynasty descended from Henry Tudor; Tudor monarchs ruled from Henry VII to Elizabeth I (from 1485 to 1603)
Omayyad, Ommiad, Umayyad
the first dynasty of Arab caliphs whose capital was Damascus
French royal house from 1328 to 1589
Wei, Wei dynasty
any of several imperial dynasties of China ruling from 220 to 265 and from 386 to 556
House of Windsor, Windsor
the British royal family since 1917
House of York, York
the English royal house (a branch of the Plantagenet line) that reigned from 1461 to 1485; its emblem was a white rose
Mongol dynasty, Yuan, Yuan dynasty
the imperial dynasty of China from 1279 to 1368
Chou, Chou dynasty, Chow, Chow dynasty, Zhou, Zhou dynasty
the imperial dynasty of China from 1122 to 221 BC; notable for the rise of Confucianism and Taoism
Type of:
family, family line, folk, kinfolk, kinsfolk, phratry, sept
people descended from a common ancestor

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