[ti-ran-i-kuhl, tahy-]


of or characteristic of a tyrant.
unjustly cruel, harsh, or severe; arbitrary or oppressive; despotic: a tyrannical ruler.

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

Synonyms for tyrannical

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tyrannically

brutally, hard, harshly, restrictively

Examples from the Web for tyrannically

Historical Examples of tyrannically

  • They loved him tyrannically, on the condition that he should conform to all their prejudices.

    The Hero

    William Somerset Maugham

  • It was in the nights, of course, that retrospect most tyrannically had its way.

    The Furnace

    Rose Macaulay

  • For the next fortnight she took Oscar to walk daily, and watched him tyrannically.

    A Start in Life

    Honore de Balzac

  • Unfortunately, or luckily, no language is tyrannically consistent.


    Edward Sapir

  • Indeed, he had dealt with them very harshly and tyrannically.

British Dictionary definitions for tyrannically


tyrannic (tɪˈrænɪk)


characteristic of or relating to a tyrant or to tyranny; oppressive
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 tyrannically



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper