Dictionary.com

tyranny

[ tir-uh-nee ]
/ ˈtɪr ə ni /
Save This Word!

noun, plural tyr·an·nies.
arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
undue severity or harshness.
a cruel or harsh act or proceeding; an arbitrary, oppressive, or tyrannical action.
QUIZ
IS THIS EIGHTH GRADE VOCAB QUIZ FEASIBLE FOR YOU?
Prove that nothing is amiss with your vocabulary skills by taking this quiz on popular eighth grade vocabulary.
Question 1 of 10
What does the word “confiscate” mean?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of tyranny

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English tyrannie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, equivalent to Latin tyrann(us) “oppressive ruler” + -ia noun suffix; see tyrant, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use tyranny in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tyranny

tyranny
/ (ˈtɪrənɪ) /

noun plural -nies
  1. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
  2. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authoritythe teacher's tyranny
any harsh discipline or oppressionthe tyranny of the clock
a political unit ruled by a tyrant
(esp in ancient Greece) government by a usurper
a tyrannical act

Derived forms of tyranny

tyrannous, adjectivetyrannously, adverbtyrannousness, noun

Word Origin for tyranny

C14: from Old French tyrannie, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, from Latin tyrannus tyrant
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
FEEDBACK