• synonyms


[ti-ran-i-kuhl, tahy-]
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  1. of or characteristic of a tyrant.
  2. unjustly cruel, harsh, or severe; arbitrary or oppressive; despotic: a tyrannical ruler.
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Sometimes ty·ran·nic.

Origin of tyrannical

1530–40; < Latin tyrannic(us) (< Greek tyrannikós, equivalent to týrann(os) tyrant + -ikos -ic) + -al1
Related formsty·ran·ni·cal·ly, adverbty·ran·ni·cal·ness, nounnon·ty·ran·nic, adjectivenon·ty·ran·ni·cal, adjectivenon·ty·ran·ni·cal·ly, adverbnon·ty·ran·ni·cal·ness, nounpre·ty·ran·ni·cal, adjectivequa·si-ty·ran·ni·cal, adjectivequa·si-ty·ran·ni·cal·ly, adverbun·ty·ran·nic, adjectiveun·ty·ran·ni·cal, adjectiveun·ty·ran·ni·cal·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for tyrannic

Historical Examples

  • She was a widow and a man-grabber; she still had a tyrannic beauty and a greed of conquest.

    The Cup of Fury

    Rupert Hughes

  • She replied to his tyrannic voice with one as hard and stabbing as a gimlet.


    Frank Swinnerton

  • In the third line of this rather fine poem 1656 reads 'romantic' for 'tyrannic', and Miss Guiney adopts it.

  • He was trembling through fear that the Spanish government might call him to account for this tyrannic act.

  • That he was pious after a fashion is most likely, but that he also practised the tyrannic cruelties of his age is undoubted.

British Dictionary definitions for tyrannic


tyrannic (tɪˈrænɪk)

  1. characteristic of or relating to a tyrant or to tyranny; oppressive
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Derived Formstyrannically, adverbtyrannicalness, 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

Word Origin and History for tyrannic



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper