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4 definitions found
 for despotism
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Despotism \Des"po*tism\, n. [Cf. F. despotisme.]
     1. The power, spirit, or principles of a despot; absolute
        control over others; tyrannical sway; tyranny. "The
        despotism of vice." --Byron.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. A government which is directed by a despot; a despotic
        monarchy; absolutism; autocracy.
        [1913 Webster]
              Despotism . . . is the only form of government which
              may with safety to itself neglect the education of
              its infant poor.                      --Bp. Horsley.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: dominance through threat of punishment and violence [syn:
           absolutism, tyranny, despotism]
      2: a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute
         dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or
         opposition etc.) [syn: dictatorship, absolutism,
         authoritarianism, Caesarism, despotism, monocracy,
         one-man rule, shogunate, Stalinism, totalitarianism,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  34 Moby Thesaurus words for "despotism":
     Caesarism, Stalinism, absolute monarchy, absolutism,
     argumentum baculinum, autarchy, authoritarianism, autocracy,
     benevolent despotism, big stick, czarism, dictatorship, domination,
     domineering, fascism, heavy hand, high hand, iron boot, iron hand,
     iron heel, kaiserism, monarchy, monocracy, one-man rule,
     one-party rule, oppression, paternalism, reign of terror,
     repression, suppression, terrorism, thought control,
     totalitarianism, tyranny

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  DESPOTISM, government. That abuse of government, where the sovereign power 
  is not divided, but united in the hands of a single man, whatever may be his 
  official title. It is not, properly, a form of government. Toull. Dr. Civ. 
  Fr. tit. prel. n. 32; Rutherf Inst. b. 1, c. 20, Sec. 1. Vide Tyranny; 

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