Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[ti-ran-i-kuh l, tahy-] /tɪˈræn ɪ kəl, taɪ-/
of or characteristic of a tyrant.
unjustly cruel, harsh, or severe; arbitrary or oppressive; despotic:
a tyrannical ruler.
Sometimes, tyrannic.
Origin of tyrannical
1530-40; < Latin tyrannic(us) (< Greek tyrannikós, equivalent to týrann(os) tyrant + -ikos -ic) + -al1
Related forms
tyrannically, adverb
tyrannicalness, noun
nontyrannic, adjective
nontyrannical, adjective
nontyrannically, adverb
nontyrannicalness, noun
pretyrannical, adjective
quasi-tyrannical, adjective
quasi-tyrannically, adverb
untyrannic, adjective
untyrannical, adjective
untyrannically, adverb
2. dictatorial; imperious, domineering. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tyrannical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The most tyrannical precepts were obeyed with the greatest docility.

  • Truly a tyrannical son is a blessing to his father and mother!

    The Republic Plato
  • The tyrannical man who has the misfortune also to become a public tyrant.

    The Republic Plato
  • Yes, he said, that is the way in which the tyrannical man is generated.

    The Republic Plato
  • Truly, then, I said, a tyrannical son is a blessing to his father and mother.

    The Republic Plato
British Dictionary definitions for tyrannical


characteristic of or relating to a tyrant or to tyranny; oppressive
Derived Forms
tyrannically, adverb
tyrannicalness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tyrannical

1530s; see tyranny + -ical. Tyrannic was used in this sense from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tyrannical

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tyrannical

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tyrannical