What does tyranny mean?

Definitions for tyranny
ˈtɪr ə nityran·ny

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dictatorship, absolutism, authoritarianism, Caesarism, despotism, monocracy, one-man rule, shogunate, Stalinism, totalitarianism, tyrannynoun

    a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)

  2. absolutism, tyranny, despotismnoun

    dominance through threat of punishment and violence


  1. tyrannynoun

    A government in which a single ruler (a tyrant) has absolute power.

  2. tyrannynoun

    The office or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.

  3. tyrannynoun

    Absolute power, or its use.

  4. tyrannynoun

    Extreme severity or rigour.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tyrannynoun

    Etymology: tyrannis, Latin; τυραννὶς; tyrannie, Fr.

    Our grand foe,
    Who now triumphs, and, in th’ excess of joy,
    Sole reigning holds the tyranny of heav’n. John Milton.

    The cities fell often under tyrannies, which spring naturally out of popular governments. William Temple.

    Boundless intemperance
    In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
    Th’untimely emptying of the happy throne,
    And fall of many kings. William Shakespeare.

    Bleed, bleed, poor country!
    Great tyranny lay thou thy basis sure,
    For goodness dares not check thee. William Shakespeare.

    Suspicions dispose kings to tyranny, and husbands to jealousy. Francis Bacon.

    God in judgment just,
    Subjects him from without to violent lords;
    Who oft as undeservedly inthral
    His outward freedom; tyranny must be. John Milton.

    The tyranny o’ the open night’s too rough
    For nature to endure. William Shakespeare, King Lear.


  1. tyranny

    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. tyranny

    Tyranny is a form of government or rule characterized by the absolute power exercised by a single person, known as a tyrant, who usually maintains control through the use of oppressive, unjust, or cruel methods. It involves a violation of human rights, suppression of political dissidents, and lack of respect for the rule of law.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tyrannynoun

    the government or authority of a tyrant; a country governed by an absolute ruler; hence, arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government

  2. Tyrannynoun

    cruel government or discipline; as, the tyranny of a schoolmaster

  3. Tyrannynoun

    severity; rigor; inclemency


  1. Tyranny

    Tyranny is the third album by the progressive metal group Shadow Gallery, released in 1998. It is the first concept album made by the band, and the story that commences on this album is continued in the album Room V.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tyranny in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tyranny in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of tyranny in a Sentence

  1. Carlos Holmes Trujillo:

    The end of this dictatorship, of this tyranny, would be the best for Venezuela, the best for Colombia, the best for the region.

  2. Alexander Hamilton:

    It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny their figure deformity.

  3. Dan Quayle, remarks at Arlington National Cemetery:

    Make no mistake about it: Operation Desert Storm truly was a victory of good over evil, of freedom over tyranny, of peace over war.

  4. Benjamin Weinthal:

    The Iranian people are struggling every day to rid themselves of Khamenei’s tyranny and create a secular democracy. The only way to resolve the nuclear crisis is a complete change of the political system in Iran. Instead of pointless negotiations with the regime, the Biden administration should maximize its support for the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom.

  5. President Biden:

    Putin knows that when I am president of the United States his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over.

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Translations for tyranny

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"tyranny." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tyranny>.

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    the reduction of expenditures in order to become financially stable
    A assortment
    B staff
    C model
    D downsizing

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