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or tyrannic

[ti-ran-i-kuh l, tahy-] /tɪˈræn ɪ kəl, taɪ-/
of or characteristic of a tyrant.
unjustly cruel, harsh, or severe; arbitrary or oppressive; despotic:
a tyrannical ruler.
Origin of tyrannical
1530-40; < Latin tyrannic(us) (< Greek tyrannikós, equivalent to týrann(os) tyrant + -ikos -ic) + -al1
Related forms
tyrannically, adverb
tyrannicalness, noun
nontyrannic, adjective
nontyrannical, adjective
nontyrannically, adverb
nontyrannicalness, noun
pretyrannical, adjective
quasi-tyrannical, adjective
quasi-tyrannically, adverb
untyrannic, adjective
untyrannical, adjective
untyrannically, adverb
2. dictatorial; imperious, domineering. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tyrannically
Historical Examples
  • It cannot be denied that there are cases in which the slaves are tyrannically treated, but this is extremely rare.

  • They loved him tyrannically, on the condition that he should conform to all their prejudices.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • Laws would not be "tyrannically executed" as the opposition feared; the "independency of your judges" would prevent that.

  • It was in the nights, of course, that retrospect most tyrannically had its way.

    The Furnace Rose Macaulay
  • tyrannically held down by a strong hand”; product, falseness and meanness.

    Dickens As an Educator James L. (James Laughlin) Hughes
  • Indeed, he had dealt with them very harshly and tyrannically.

  • For the next fortnight she took Oscar to walk daily, and watched him tyrannically.

    A Start in Life Honore de Balzac
  • She thinks he has treated her cruelly and tyrannically, and she will not pretend to worship him.

    There and Back George MacDonald
  • How dared this lady to marry a man so distinguished, and then to treat him ill and tyrannically?

  • Remain in the town he had created and ruled so tyrannically, and which he still loved so devotedly, he could not.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
British Dictionary definitions for tyrannically


characteristic of or relating to a tyrant or to tyranny; oppressive
Derived Forms
tyrannically, adverb
tyrannicalness, noun
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 tyrannically



1530s; see tyranny + -ical. Tyrannic was used in this sense from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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