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or (especially British) tyrannise

[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.
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 tyrannized
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The wife of Hooker tyrannized over his days, and at last proved to be a traitress to his fame.

    Amenities of Literature Isaac Disraeli
  • She tyrannized over me when she was a lass of six and I was a lad of ten.

  • I suppose little brothers were made to be tyrannized over by the older ones, especially when the father is not living.

    Against the Current Edward A. Steiner
  • Whole families of beggars, not only preyed upon her, but tyrannized.

    Life in the Confederate Army Arthur Peronneau Ford
  • He had an army of old servants at Mellish Park, who adored him and tyrannized over him after the manner of their kind.

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. I (of 3) M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon
  • We are tyrannized by Major and Minor—by the bifurcated garment.

  • Aunt Maria thought he starved and tyrannized over that poor little sickly Mrs. Dusautoy.

    The Young Step-Mother Charlotte M. Yonge
  • There has been in history no power which has tyrannized less than the political majority.

    The Arena Various
  • He tyrannized over his people and never allowed them to live in peace.

British Dictionary definitions for tyrannized


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 tyrannized



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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