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[tir-uh-nahyz] /ˈtɪr əˌnaɪz/
verb (used without object), tyrannized, tyrannizing.
to exercise absolute power or control, especially cruelly or oppressively (often followed by over).
to govern despotically, cruelly, or oppressively.
to govern or reign as a tyrant.
verb (used with object), tyrannized, tyrannizing.
to rule or govern tyrannically; treat oppressively.
Also, especially British, tyrannise.
Origin of tyrannize
1485-95; < French tyranniser < Late Latin tyrannizāre, equivalent to tyrann(us) tyrant + -izāre -ize
Related forms
tyrannizer, noun
tyrannizingly, adverb
outtyrannize, verb (used with object), outtyrannized, outtyrannizing.
untyrannized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tyrannise
Historical Examples
  • But they had no right to tyrannise over others, and tie them down to their own procrustean bed.

    Mary Barton Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • He delights to tyrannise over the ducks who so often keep him company in captivity.

    Jungle Folk Douglas Dewar
  • When it goes plausibly in, no man can know how it will rage and tyrannise.

  • But the rich, if the community gives them rank, very often endeavour to insult and tyrannise over others.

    Politics Aristotle
  • All which do give them an occasion to tyrannise over their Fellow-Creatures, which they call their Inferiors.

  • And it is the prevailing consciencelessness, the universal lust to tyrannise, that really consummates the political dissolution.

    The Evolution of States J. M. Robertson
  • By so doing he let his friends encroach so much that they oppressed him and began to tyrannise over him.

    Fair Haven and Foul Strand August Strindberg
  • If these are created by God, it follows that to tyrannise and to ascribe plurality to the Deity is to render obedience.

    The Faith of Islam Edward Sell
  • He loves to tyrannise over women and show his familiarity by a certain brutality of address, and the line comes not slowly.

    The Ladies E. Barrington
  • Is it possible these men should tyrannise over men upon whom they are so entirely dependent?

British Dictionary definitions for tyrannise


when intr, often foll by over. to rule or exercise power (over) in a cruel or oppressive manner
Derived Forms
tyrannizer, tyranniser, 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 tyrannise



late 15c., from Middle French tyranniser (14c.), from tyrannie (see tyranny). Related: Tyrannized; tyrannizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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