I'm wondering whether the word dictator should be capitalized.

Is it just an adjective and not an (official) title?

  • It's a noun, not an adjective. – Peter Taylor Feb 1 '11 at 13:41

It depends on context and preference. If used as a noun, it's not capitalised:

He was the dictator of Sicily.

If used as a title, it ought to be:

He proclaimed himself Dictator of Sicily.

And also if used as an honourific:

He was called Dictator Garibaldi.

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  • Does anyone proclaim themselves "the Dictator" as a title? More likely to (falsely) assume "The People's Loved One" or some such. – JoseK Feb 1 '11 at 5:14
  • @JoseK: Removed "the" to make the example a bit clearer. – Jon Purdy Feb 1 '11 at 7:26
  • Julius Caesar named himself Dictator perpetuo: Dictator for Life. – user3444 Feb 1 '11 at 12:54
  • Of course the denotation and connotation of dictator was very different in Ancient Rome... – Charles Mar 31 '11 at 21:01
  • It was an official title for an office in ancient Rome. I don't know of any country today that uses it as an actual title. – Jay Feb 14 '12 at 21:52

Nowadays, Dictator doesn't have any positive connotations so as @Jon mentions, it would be hard to find it capitalized correctly. In the past for example, Simón Bolívar, a South American General, was proclaimed Dictator of Peru.

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