a sovereign or other ruler who uses power oppressively or unjustly.
any person in a position of authority who exercises power oppressively or despotically.
a tyrannical or compulsory influence.
an absolute ruler, especially one in ancient Greece or Sicily.

1250–1300; Middle English tirant < Old French < Latin tyrannus < Greek týrannos

undertyrant, noun

1. despot, autocrat, dictator.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tyrant (ˈtaɪrənt)
1.  a person who governs oppressively, unjustly, and arbitrarily; despot
2.  any person who exercises authority in a tyrannical manner
3.  anything that exercises tyrannical influence
4.  (esp in ancient Greece) a ruler whose authority lacked the sanction of law or custom; usurper
[C13: from Old French tyrant, from Latin tyrannus, from Greek turannos]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "absolute ruler," from O.Fr. tyrant (12c.), from L. tyrannus "lord, master, tyrant" (cf. Sp. tirano, It. tiranno), from Gk. tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler," a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor (probably Lydian); cf. Etruscan Turan "mistress, lady" (surname of Venus).
"In the exact sense, a tyrant is an individual who arrogates to himself the royal authority without having a right to it. This is how the Greeks understood the word 'tyrant': they applied it indifferently to good and bad princes whose authority was not legitimate." [Rousseau, "The Social Contract"]
The spelling with -t arose in O.Fr. by analogy with prp. endings in -ant. Fem. form tyranness is recorded from 1590 (Spenser); cf. M.L. tyrannissa (1372).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Academia doesn't need autocratic tyrants who run roughshod over faculty
  traditions and procedures.
One more reason that academics are considered petty tyrants.
Redundancy and decentralization are our friends, and the enemies of tyrants and
  monopolies the world round.
Fossil fuels are running out anyway and are increasingly in the hands of
  tyrants and extremists.
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