A dictator is that who dictates. Dictators actually can be elected by the people. In the Roman republic was usual to assign a dictator to 'fix' some political or economical problems. A famous one is Sulla, whom ended up being a terrible and bloody tyrant and he was actually elected by the Senate to break a political stalemate and he created for the purpose the 'conscription's' which meant nothing but a list of political enemies to
'eliminate'. Another good one, and in the whole sense of the wording was Cincinatus, who actually gave back the power invested on him, as soon as the problem was fixed. Hence the name of the city of Cincinnati, OH, honoring the soldiers of George Washington who upon completion of the American revolution, gave back the control and power granted to them.
In our times of course, the idea keeps arising and it does not to be coup or anything as such to produce a dictator, only an smart guy that upon given by the people the power to control them, he/she exceeds the functions to become a dictator. These guys usually stick to the power and don't let ti go, because of the amount of corruption their unsolicited 'assistance' to the people, produced and so, he/she, build a circle fo friends or elites to surround hi/her and perpetuate his/her tenure of control and power over the people. The examples in the XXI century are many and some close enough to make us wonder how free we really are.