Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to a tyrant or tyranny: a tyrannical government.
  • adj. Characteristic of a tyrant or tyranny; despotic and oppressive: a tyrannical supervisor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to tyranny or a tyrant.
  • adj. Despotic, oppressive or authoritarian.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the character of a tyrant; acting like a tyrant; despotic in rule or procedure; arbitrary; imperious; as, a tyrannical master.
  • Pertaining to or characteristic of a tyrant; unjustly severe in operation; oppressive: as, a tyrannical government; tyrannical actions.
  • Synonyms Domineering, severe, oppressive, galling, grinding. See despotism.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty
  • adj. marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • They make it a text and pretext for inveighing against the government, and so weakening its hold on the popular confidence and support; for raising seditious outcries against any restriction of the license to talk and print treason -- what they call tyrannical oppression of the freedom of speech and of the press.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2 No 4, October, 1862 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • During the second dogwatch, that same evening, Wilde sought out the boatswain and carpenter, and complained to them of what he termed my tyrannical conduct, which, he represented to his two listeners, was of so grossly humiliating a character that it was calculated very seriously to detract from his influence with his followers.

    Overdue The Story of a Missing Ship

  • He added that Israel's democracy was a unique model that has surpassed many of what he described as the tyrannical, totalitarian Arab regimes.

    Elder of Ziyon

  • "I paid a price, but the Singaporean government has paid a bigger price," he said, adding that his case has shed more light on what he called a tyrannical government.

    Singabloodypore

  • Lucy's spirit, however, was high, and, although unaided and alone, she could have borne much: she could have endured the repinings of her father; his murmurs against what he called the tyrannical usage of the ruling party; his ceaseless charges of ingratitude against Ravenswood; his endless lectures on the various means by which contracts may be voided an annulled; his quotations from the civil, municipal, and the canon law; and his prelections upon the patria potestas.

    The Bride of Lammermoor

  • But if there were lower magistrates who had lawful authority to restrain tyrannical kings, then go for it.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Thoughts on the Revolution (?) in Kyrgyzstan

  • Chief among their common goals is that the three-man municipality they call tyrannical and inefficient must go and be replaced by

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • 1838 GMT: Libya's ambassador to Lisbon becomes the latest high-ranking official to quit the government, condemning what he called a "tyrannical" regime

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Something that incorporates 1/6th of the economy – in this case Health Care, along with abortion, illegal aliens, elderly Logun's Run death panels, and privacy issues for all Americans should not be rushed through our most liberal Congress, a government which is acting more Orwellian everyday and has the possibility of becoming tyrannical, which is why the Press should be watchdogs instead of lapdogs for Obama.

    Obama adviser: Protesters wrong about health-care reform

  • They map the rise of what key figures on the right and left refer to as tyrannical rule by the Bush - Cheney administration.

    Michael Collins: Election Fraud and Tyranny: Part 1

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