American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
- n. The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
- n. Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: "I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” ( Thomas Jefferson).
- n. Use of absolute power.
- n. A tyrannical act.
- n. Extreme harshness or severity; rigor.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The rule of a tyrant in the ancient sense; the personal government of one of the Greek tyrants; a state or government having an uncontrolled ruler bearing the title of tyrant.
- n. The office or incumbency of a tyrant; a tyrant's administration or tenure; the system of government by tyrants.
- n. Hence A tyrannical government; a lawless autocracy or despotism.
- n. Arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of anthority; unmerciful rule.
- n. A tyrannical action or proceeding; an instance of despotic rule or conduct.
- n. Severity; harshness; stringency.
- n. Synonyms Despotism, Autocracy, etc. See despotism.
- n. Oppression, Despotism, etc. See oppression.
- n. A government in which a single ruler (a tyrant) has absolute power.
- n. The office or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
- n. Absolute power, or its use.
- n. Extreme severity or rigour.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The government or authority of a tyrant; a country governed by an absolute ruler; hence, arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government.
- n. Cruel government or discipline.
- n. Severity; rigor; inclemency.
- n. a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
- n. dominance through threat of punishment and violence
- From Middle English, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, tyrania, from Ancient Greek τυραννία (turannia, "tyranny"), from τύραννος (turannos, "lord, master, sovereign, tyrrant"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English tyrannie, from Old French, from Late Latin tyrannia, from Greek turanniā, from turannos, tyrant. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“One reason is what we call the "tyranny of the shoulds.”
“French President Nicolas Sarkozy has paid tribute to seven French soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan, saying they fought in a just war against what he called the "tyranny" of the Taliban movement.”
“This introduces what I call the tyranny of choice.”
“People always think that living in a tyranny is a cohesive experience.”
“But both Bonaparte and his Minister in the affairs of the Church, Portalis, refused the introduction of what they called a tyranny on the conscience.”
“An autocracy or a tyranny is a far simpler form of social and political organization than a democracy.”
“Once there, he began to notice what he described as the "tyranny of the moment" mindset among low-income families and others living below the poverty line.”
“The word "tyranny," which has a powerful resonance in the play, carries a sharp sting in Ms. Dumezweni's husky contralto.”
“In the first two posts of this four-post series, we began exploring what I call the tyranny of modern Time.”
“Here is what we define as tyranny and a recent example, for instantiation:”
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