What does tyrannical mean?

Definitions for tyrannical
tɪˈræn ɪ kəl, taɪ-tyran·ni·cal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tyrannical.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. oppressive, tyrannical, tyrannousadjective

    marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior

    "the oppressive government"; "oppressive laws"; "a tyrannical parent"; "tyrannous disregard of human rights"

  2. authoritarian, autocratic, dictatorial, despotic, tyrannic, tyrannicaladjective

    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty

    "an authoritarian regime"; "autocratic government"; "despotic rulers"; "a dictatorial rule that lasted for the duration of the war"; "a tyrannical government"


  1. tyrannicaladjective

    Of, or relating to tyranny or a tyrant.

  2. tyrannicaladjective

    Despotic, oppressive or authoritarian.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tyrannical, Tyrannicknoun

    Suiting a tyrant; acting like a tyrant; cruel; despotick; imperious.

    Etymology: tyrannus, Latin; tyrannique, French; τυϱαννιϰὸς.

    Charge him home that affects
    Tyrannic power. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    You have contriv’d to take
    From Rome all season’d office, and to wind
    Yourself into a power tyrannical. William Shakespeare.

    Domitian had been tyrannical; and in his time many noble houses were overthrown by false accusations. Francis Bacon.

    Our sects a more tyrannick power assume,
    And would for scorpions change the rods of Rome. Wentworth Dillon.

    Subdue and quell, o’er all the earth,
    Brute violence, and proud tyrannick pow’r. John Milton.

    If the spirit of a subject be rebellious, in a prince it will be tyrannical and intolerable. Taylor.

    She hath recourse
    To tears and prayers, again she feels the smart
    Of a fresh wound from the tyrannick dart. John Denham.

    And by the nobles, by his commons curst,
    Th’ oppressor rul’d tyrannick where he durst;
    Stretch’d o’er the poor and church his iron rod,
    And treats alike his vassals and his God. Alexander Pope.


  1. tyrannical

    A tyrant (from Ancient Greek τύραννος (túrannos) 'absolute ruler'), in the modern English usage of the word, is an absolute ruler who is unrestrained by law, or one who has usurped a legitimate ruler's sovereignty. Often portrayed as cruel, tyrants may defend their positions by resorting to repressive means. The original Greek term meant an absolute sovereign who came to power without constitutional right, yet the word had a neutral connotation during the Archaic and early Classical periods. However, Greek philosopher Plato saw tyrannos as a negative word, and on account of the decisive influence of philosophy on politics, Plato deemed tyranny the “fourth and worst disorder of a state.” Tyrants lack “the very faculty that is the instrument of judgment”—reason. The tyrannical man is enslaved because the best part of him (reason) is enslaved, and likewise, the tyrannical state is enslaved, because it too lacks reason and order. Its negative connotations only increased, continuing into the Hellenistic period.The philosophers Plato and Aristotle defined a tyrant as a person who rules without law, using extreme and cruel methods against both his own people and others. The Encyclopédie defined the term as a usurper of sovereign power who makes "his subjects the victims of his passions and unjust desires, which he substitutes for laws". In the late fifth and fourth centuries BC, a new kind of tyrant, one who had the support of the military, arose – specifically in Sicily.


  1. tyrannical

    Tyrannical refers to exercising power in a cruel, oppressive, harsh, or authoritarian manner. It typically describes rules or governments that are unjust and use their authority or control to harm or suppress people. The term can also be used to describe a person demonstrating such cruel, oppressive behavior. It is often associated with despotism and dictatorship.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tyrannicaladjective

    of or pertaining to a tyrant; suiting a tyrant; unjustly severe in government; absolute; imperious; despotic; cruel; arbitrary; as, a tyrannical prince; a tyrannical master; tyrannical government

How to pronounce tyrannical?

How to say tyrannical in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tyrannical in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tyrannical in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of tyrannical in a Sentence

  1. Larry Pratt:

    It's for restraining tyrannical tendencies in government, if need be, by active measures.

  2. Bella Thorne:

    It’s a heartless move that deeply saddens me and motivates me to want to do even more me to fight to bring democracy to Cuba. I hold the tyrannical thugs in power accountable for this decision and the wave of brutal suffering it will inflict on the Cuban people who only want to be free like you and I are as Americans.

  3. Emiliano Zapata:

    Seek justice from tyrannical governments not with your hat in your hand but a rifle in your fist

  4. Kat Cammack:

    I cannot comply with this tyrannical order, this is the people's house, not Nancy Pelosi's house.

  5. Yael Cohen:

    Please ask Scott Swift for help with this - I'm hoping that maybe Scott Swift can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote, i'm especially asking for help from The Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music to these two men.

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Translations for tyrannical

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"tyrannical." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tyrannical>.

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    A state of immorality or sin
    A secession
    B recital
    C impurity
    D encumbrance

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