Pronunciation: (dik'tā-tur, dik-tā'tur), [key]
1. a person exercising absolute power, esp. a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession.
2. (in ancient Rome) a person invested with supreme authority during a crisis, the regular magistracy being subordinated to him until the crisis was met.
3. a person who authoritatively prescribes conduct, usage, etc.: a dictator of fashion.
4. a person who dictates, as to a secretary.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.