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tyranny

[tir-uh-nee] /ˈtɪr ə ni/
noun, plural tyrannies.
1.
arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
2.
the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
3.
a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
4.
oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
5.
undue severity or harshness.
6.
a cruel or harsh act or proceeding; an arbitrary, oppressive, or tyrannical action.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English tyrannie < Old French < Medieval Latin tyrannia, equivalent to Latin tyrann(us) tyrant + -ia -y3
Related forms
pretyranny, noun, plural pretyrannies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pretyranny

tyranny

/ˈtɪrənɪ/
noun (pl) -nies
1.
  1. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
  2. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
2.
arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authority the teacher's tyranny
3.
any harsh discipline or oppression the tyranny of the clock
4.
a political unit ruled by a tyrant
5.
(esp in ancient Greece) government by a usurper
6.
a tyrannical act
Derived Forms
tyrannous, adjective
tyrannously, adverb
tyrannousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French tyrannie, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, from Latin tyrannustyrant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pretyranny
tyranny
c.1368, "cruel or unjust use of power," from O.Fr. tyrannie (13c.), from L.L. tyrannia "tyranny," from Gk. tyrannia "rule of a tyrant," from tyrannos "master" (see tyrant). Tyrannize is first attested 1494, from M.Fr. tyranniser (14c.); tyrannical was formed 1538 (tyrannic was used in this sense from 1491).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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