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tyranny

[tir-uh-nee] /ˈtɪr ə ni/
noun, plural tyrannies.
1.
arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
2.
the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
3.
a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
4.
oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
5.
undue severity or harshness.
6.
a cruel or harsh act or proceeding; an arbitrary, oppressive, or tyrannical action.
Origin of tyranny
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English tyrannie < Old French < Medieval Latin tyrannia, equivalent to Latin tyrann(us) tyrant + -ia -y3
Related forms
pretyranny, noun, plural pretyrannies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for tyrannies
Historical Examples
  • And yet all that Seneca's daring could venture was to seduce the baby-tyrant into the least injurious of tyrannies.

    If, Yes and Perhaps Edward Everett Hale
  • The people of Lodi prayed his protection against the tyrannies of Milan.

  • He thought he was done for the rest of his life with the "exactions" and "tyrannies" of the King of Prussia.

  • The tyrannies were at their height in the time of Polycrates and his brother Syloson.

  • James was already a growing boy when the last and worst of the tyrannies which oppressed his youth began.

    Royal Edinburgh Margaret Oliphant
  • Only they think that the present tyrannies provoke resistance.

  • There may have been a few instances in history where such was the case, but tyrannies of that kind have never lasted long.

    The Behavior of Crowds Everett Dean Martin
  • But there are other tyrannies coincident which are more urgent and compelling.

    The Drunkard Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • A great deal of nonsense is talked about the "tyrannies" which the Monastic Age inflicted on Art.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • They had freed their souls from the tyrannies of time and the fear of death.

    The Glory of the Trenches Coningsby Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for tyrannies

tyranny

/ˈtɪrənɪ/
noun (pl) -nies
1.
  1. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
  2. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
2.
arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authority: the teacher's tyranny
3.
any harsh discipline or oppression: the tyranny of the clock
4.
a political unit ruled by a tyrant
5.
(esp in ancient Greece) government by a usurper
6.
a tyrannical act
Derived Forms
tyrannous, adjective
tyrannously, adverb
tyrannousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French tyrannie, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, from Latin tyrannustyrant
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
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Word Origin and History for tyrannies

tyranny

n.

late 14c., "cruel or unjust use of power," from Old French tyrannie (13c.), from Late Latin tyrannia "tyranny," from Greek tyrannia "rule of a tyrant," from tyrannos "master" (see tyrant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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