"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[tir-uh-nee] /ˈtɪr ə ni/
noun, plural tyrannies.
arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
undue severity or harshness.
a cruel or harsh act or proceeding; an arbitrary, oppressive, or tyrannical action.
Origin of tyranny
1325-75; Middle English tyrannie < Old French < Medieval Latin tyrannia, equivalent to Latin tyrann(us) tyrant + -ia -y3
Related forms
pretyranny, noun, plural pretyrannies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for tyranny
  • But even that may not be enough to free us from the tyranny of capped data consumption and gaping holes in its coverage.
  • Even absolute autocrats attempt to justify their tyranny through propaganda and otherwise.
  • Those who would use science to justify tyranny are not promoting respect for science.
  • tyranny today no longer requires armed intimidation.
  • Instead you can bathe in the opportunity to be able to exist at all, free from the tyranny of dogmatic literature.
  • It puts him into the abyss of tyranny on a personal scale.
  • But as it turns out, all of these dreams have drawbacks-and none of them escapes the tyranny of the equity market.
  • It was the penultimate state, degenerating into tyranny.
  • Thus indeed, when the case was in the best position, it came through his vexatious tyranny into a much worse one.
  • Humanity has this historical experience of fighting injustice and tyranny.
British Dictionary definitions for tyranny


noun (pl) -nies
  1. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
  2. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authority: the teacher's tyranny
any harsh discipline or oppression: the tyranny of the clock
a political unit ruled by a tyrant
(esp in ancient Greece) government by a usurper
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tyranny

late 14c., "cruel or unjust use of power," from Old French tyrannie (13c.), from Late Latin tyrannia "tyranny," from Greek tyrannia "rule of a tyrant," from tyrannos "master" (see tyrant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tyranny

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tyranny

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with tyranny

Nearby words for tyranny