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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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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

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 tyranny
n.

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
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