2. Any tyrant or oppressor: There are some despots, even in these modern times, who are ruling their people in cruel and inhumane ways.
3. Etymology: from Greek: despotes, "a master, a lord"; from Latin domus "house, home" + potis, "master, husband".
Originally, a title meaning "master", applied to certain classes of rulers, an honorary title applied to a Byzantine emperor, afterward to members of his family, and later to Byzantine vassal rulers and governors; then to bishops or patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church, etc. Now, it refers to anyone who is in charge and acts like a tyrant or a ruler who exercises his or her power in a harsh or oppressive way.