What does authoritarianism mean?

Definitions for authoritarianism

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word authoritarianism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dictatorship, absolutism, authoritarianism, Caesarism, despotism, monocracy, one-man rule, shogunate, Stalinism, totalitarianism, tyrannynoun

    a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)


  1. authoritarianismnoun

    A form of government in which the governing body has absolute, or almost absolute, control. Typically this control is maintained by force, and little heed is paid to public opinion or the judicial system.


  1. authoritarianism

    Authoritarianism is a system of government or ideology in which power is centralized in a single authority, usually a dictator or political elite, and characterized by limited individual freedoms, strong government control over political and social life, and a lack of personal rights and liberties. It often involves the suppression of political opposition, strict obedience to authority, systemic control of public opinion, and resistance to changes in leadership or political structure.


  1. Authoritarianism

    Authoritarianism is a form of government. Juan Linz, whose 1964 description of authoritarianism is influential, characterized authoritarianism regimes are political systems characterized by four qualities: "limited, not responsible, political pluralism"; that is, constraints on political institutions and groups, a basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" such as underdevelopment or insurgency; neither "intensive nor extensive political mobilization" and constraints on the mass public and "formally ill-defined" executive power, often shifting or vague.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Authoritarianism

    The personality pattern or syndrome consisting of behavioral and attitudinal characteristics reflecting a preoccupation with the factors of power and authority in interpersonal relationships.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce authoritarianism?

How to say authoritarianism in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of authoritarianism in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of authoritarianism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of authoritarianism in a Sentence

  1. Leonard E. Read:

    What, actually, is the difference between communism and fascism? Both are forms of statism, authoritarianism. The only difference between Stalin’s communism and Mussolini’s fascism is an insignificant detail in organizational structure.

  2. Daniel Hoffman:

    I mean, look, he's calling Ukrainians neo-Nazis and drug dealers, and all this propaganda stuff we all know isn’t true. And I think deep down, a mass of his population, they know it's not true, it highlights for us, here in America, why Ukraine is on the front line … They are the geopolitical fault line right now between democracy and authoritarianism and a hallmark of authoritarianism is to control the narrative, control what people hear and see and then distort the truth.

  3. Yeoh Lam Keong:

    Democratization is the trickier part because Lee Kuan Yew's legacy is also benevolent authoritarianism, they are standing against the tide in the long run, 10 to 20 years. They really need to lead that rather than get dragged along by it. I'm not sure if they have the inclination to do that.

  4. Magnus Taylor:

    Uganda has seen increased levels of authoritarianism in the last decade, this has come in waves, most evident during election period when a generally strident opposition has clashed against the President's anti-democratic tendencies.

  5. Frank Furedi:

    Relieving people of the burden of freedom in order to make them feel safe is a recurring theme in the history of authoritarianism.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for authoritarianism

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for authoritarianism »


Find a translation for the authoritarianism definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"authoritarianism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/authoritarianism>.

Discuss these authoritarianism definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for authoritarianism? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    anything that provides inspiration for later work
    • A. leaven
    • B. germ
    • C. elan
    • D. dint

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for authoritarianism: