Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To treat tyrannically; oppress.
  • intransitive verb To exercise absolute power.
  • intransitive verb To rule as a tyrant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To act as a tyrant; exercise tyrannical power; rule despotically or cruelly: used of persons, with over before an object.
  • Hence To have a tyrannical influence; exercise oppressive restraint; maintain arbitrary control: used of things, commonly with over.
  • To rule, treat, or affect tyrannically; act the tyrant to or over.
  • To make tyrannically oppressive; convert into an instrument of tyranny.
  • Also spelled tyrannise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To act the tyrant; to exercise arbitrary power; to rule with unjust and oppressive severity; to exercise power over others not permitted by law or required by justice, or with a severity not necessary to the ends of justice and government.
  • transitive verb To subject to arbitrary, oppressive, or tyrannical treatment; to oppress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to oppress someone
  • verb intransitive to rule as a tyrant

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

  • verb rule a country as a tyrant
  • verb rule or exercise power over (somebody) in a cruel and autocratic manner

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French tyranniser, from tyran, tyrant; see tyrant.]

Examples

  • "It is utterly impossible that they who live in the administration of the petty despotism of a slave community, whose minds have been warped and polluted by that contamination, should not lose that respect for their fellow creatures over whom they tyrannize, which is essential in the nature and moral being of man, to rescue them from the abuse of power over their prostrate fellow creatures."

    American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses

  • They had decided against the idea on the grounds that rich Chinese would "tyrannize" the poor Chinese and treat them far worse than did the Dutch.

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • You are one of the people who want to tyrannize the minority for your own purposes — whether they be for your enjoyment, for your economic gain, or for the enlargement of your political clout.

    Bush Administration v. Environmental Groups

  • It does absolutely nothing it was intended to do and just gives the judicial nobility another weapon to tyrannize against any dissent to their divinity.

    The “I have been requested to put up an open thread” Friday Open Thread. | RedState

  • And it is absolutely true that those from the smallest states, with the largest populations, and the least amount of public land are the ones who wish so fervently to tyrannize the public land that is found plentifully in the western, more rural states, and to dictate how those living in these states can and cannot live their lives and do their jobs, or even if they can do their jobs at all.

    Bush Administration v. Environmental Groups

  • You are one of the people who want to tyrannize the minority for your own purposes — whether they be for your enjoyment, for your economic gain, or for the enlargement of your political clout.

    Bush Administration v. Environmental Groups

  • Then in the second book, the resiliency of the Commonwealth's institutions is amply demonstrated by the gentry's initially accepting the Swedish invasion with an attitude of "it doesn't matter who's king" (consistent with their republican outlook) and then rising against and throwing out Charles Gustav as soon as it becomes clear that he means to tyrannize them.

    Calhoun's Defense of Poland's Unanimity Rule, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • According to Darby, the Antichrist is a satanic figure who would tyrannize the world for seven years, unleashing his fury especially against the Jews and the state of Israel.

    Richard T. Hughes: Revelation, Revolutions And The Tyrannical New World Order

  • I keep flashing back to blockbuster movies with Will Smith and Shia Labeouf where the big bad military types get control of all of our information and use it to tyrannize the innocent.

    On the Internet, Everyone Knows You’re a Dog | Managing Greatness

  • David Melrose is an aging sadist whose response to the decline of the British aristocracy is to tyrannize his wife and son, the only people over whom he can still exercise droit du seigneur .

    The Sins of His Father

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