verb (used without object), tyr·an·nized, tyr·an·niz·ing.

to exercise absolute power or control, especially cruelly or oppressively (often followed by over).
to govern despotically, cruelly, or oppressively.
to govern or reign as a tyrant.

verb (used with object), tyr·an·nized, tyr·an·niz·ing.

to rule or govern tyrannically; treat oppressively.

Also especially British, tyr·an·nise.

Origin of tyrannize

1485–95; < French tyranniser < Late Latin tyrannizāre, equivalent to tyrann(us) tyrant + -izāre -ize
Related formstyr·an·niz·er, nountyr·an·niz·ing·ly, adverbout·tyr·an·nize, verb (used with object), out·tyr·an·nized, out·tyr·an·niz·ing.un·tyr·an·nized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tyrannise

Historical Examples of tyrannise

  • Socialism is a new god, a new abstraction to tyrannise over the Ego.


    James Huneker

  • When it goes plausibly in, no man can know how it will rage and tyrannise.

  • He delights to tyrannise over the ducks who so often keep him company in captivity.

    Jungle Folk

    Douglas Dewar

  • My view is that a woman has got to keep a man in order, or he will tyrannise over her.

    The Eldest Son

    Archibald Marshall

  • What if our instincts lead us to tyrannise over our fellow-men?

British Dictionary definitions for tyrannise




(when intr, often foll by over) to rule or exercise power (over) in a cruel or oppressive manner
Derived Formstyrannizer or tyranniser, 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 tyrannise



late 15c., from Middle French tyranniser (14c.), from tyrannie (see tyranny). Related: Tyrannized; tyrannizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper