SINCE1828
dynasty noun
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dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē
also -ˌna-stē, especially British ˈdi-nə-stē \
plural dynasties
Definition of dynasty
1: a succession of rulers of the same line of descent (see DESCENT sense 1a)
a dynasty that ruled China for nearly 300 years
2
: a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time
born into a powerful political dynasty
a baseball dynasty
Other Words from dynasty
Sports Dynasties
Dynasty Has Greek Roots
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Other Words from dynasty
dynastic \ dī-​ˈna-​stik
\ adjective
dynastically \ dī-​ˈna-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē
\adverb
Sports Dynasties
Dynasty has been in use in English for over 600 years, for most of that time referring to a ruling family that maintains power through succession. Around the beginning of the 19th century, the word developed the figurative sense “a group or family that dominates a particular field for generations.” Nowadays, this sense of dynasty is often applied to a sports franchise which has a prolonged run of successful seasons. The sports use appears to have begun in the early 20th century. An article in The Washington Post in 1905 refers to “John T. Brush’s baseball dynasty,” and by 1912 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that “if players were free agents at the end of every two years, baseball dynasties such as those built up by the Cubs, Athletics, Detroits and Giants would not be possible.”
Dynasty Has Greek Roots
Dynast and dynasty both descend from the Greek verb dynasthai, which means "to be able" or "to have power." Dynasty came to prominence in English first; it has been part of our language since at least the 14th century. Dynast took its place in the linguistic family line in the early 1600s, and it has been used to describe sovereigns and other rulers ever since.
Examples of dynasty in a Sentence
a dynasty that ruled China for nearly 300 years
There was a civil war during the dynasty.
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Recent Examples on the Web
As part of the Modern Warrior theme, the designs also reflected three additional concepts—patriotism, dynasty and fearlessness.
— Alice Park/tokyo, Time, 27 July 2021
Despite a decades-old dynasty, Carmel has never placed a swimmer on the U.S. Olympic team.
— David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 9 June 2021
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dynasty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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First Known Use of dynasty
14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
History and Etymology for dynasty
Middle English dynastia, dynastie "power, sovereignty, succession of rulers," borrowed from Medieval Latin dynastīa, going back to Late Latin, "rule, power," borrowed from Greek dynasteía "arbitrarily exercised political power, lordship, rule," from dynástēs "holder of political power, lord, ruler" + -eia -Y entry 2 — more at DYNAST
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The first known use of dynasty was in the 14th century
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Dictionary Entries Near dynasty
dynasticism
dynasty
dynatron
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Statistics for dynasty
Last Updated
3 Aug 2021
Look-up Popularity
Top 2% of words
Cite this Entry
“Dynasty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dynasty. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.
Style: MLA
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More Definitions for dynasty
dynasty noun
English Language Learners Definition of dynasty
: a family of rulers who rule over a country for a long period of time
also : the period of time when a particular dynasty is in power
: a family, team, etc., that is very powerful or successful for a long period of time
See the full definition for dynasty in the English Language Learners Dictionary
dynasty noun
dy·​nas·​ty | \ ˈdī-nə-stē
\
plural dynasties
Kids Definition of dynasty
: a series of rulers of the same family
More from Merriam-Webster on dynasty
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dynasty
Nglish: Translation of dynasty for Spanish Speakers
Britannica English: Translation of dynasty for Arabic Speakers
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dynasty
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