Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An absolute ruler; a tyrant.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    This word, in its original and most simple acceptation, signifies master and supreme lord; it is synonymous with monarch ; but taken in bad part, as it is usually employed, it signifies a tyrant. In some states, despot Is the title given to the sovereign, as king is given in others. Enc. Lond.
    —Despotism. 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. Toullier, Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. pr6l. n. 32. "Despotism" is not exactly synonymous with "autocracy," for the former involves the idea of tyranny or abuse of power, which is not necessarily implied by the latter. Every despotism is autocratic; but an autocracy is not necessarily despotic.
    —Despotize. To act as a despot. Webster.