- 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.
Origin of tyranny
Examples from the Web for tyranny
Applying the apartheid label is incorrect—and is also confusing because it obscures the tyranny which is in force.Don’t Accuse Israel of Apartheid
July 17, 2014
The Bill of Rights, and especially the First Amendment, were intended to protect the powerless from the tyranny of the powerful.The Supreme Court Turns the First Amendment Into a Weapon for Corporations
July 8, 2014
It also called for the establishment of laws and institutions that might protect minorities against the tyranny of the majority.How Iran and America Can Beat ISIS Together
Ben Van Heuvelen
June 21, 2014
“Either you stand with freedom, or you side with tyranny,” Miller wrote on his Facebook page in March.Hatriot Politics Created the Las Vegas Killers
June 10, 2014
His social snapshots reveal the unhappy repercussions of tyranny and poverty in a picturesque Africa.Saatchi Resurrects Ancient Pangaea with Show Featuring South American and African Artists
April 4, 2014
But there is really no need to choose between anarchy and tyranny.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
I want to liberate Englishmen so far as I can from the tyranny of Shakespeare's greatness.The Man Shakespeare
Who drove us into the arms of Athens, when we were hard pressed by the tyranny of Thebes?
That cause, he said, was the liberation of Greece from the tyranny of Athens.
A bondman's change from the tyranny of another to the despotism of himself.The Devil's Dictionary
- government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
- 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
Word Origin and History for tyranny
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).