What does tyrant mean?

Definitions for tyrant
ˈtaɪ rənttyrant

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word tyrant.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tyrant, autocrat, despotnoun

    a cruel and oppressive dictator

  2. tyrantnoun

    in ancient Greece, a ruler who had seized power without legal right to it

  3. tyrantnoun

    any person who exercises power in a cruel way

    "his father was a tyrant"

Wiktionary

  1. tyrantnoun

    An absolute ruler who governs without restriction.

    Etymology: From tirant (French tyran), from tyrannus, from τύραννος.

  2. tyrantnoun

    A harsh and cruel ruler.

    Etymology: From tirant (French tyran), from tyrannus, from τύραννος.

  3. tyrantnoun

    An oppressive, cruel and harsh person.

    Etymology: From tirant (French tyran), from tyrannus, from τύραννος.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tyrantnoun

    an absolute ruler; a sovereign unrestrained by law or constitution; a usurper of sovereignty

  2. Tyrantnoun

    specifically, a monarch, or other ruler or master, who uses power to oppress his subjects; a person who exercises unlawful authority, or lawful authority in an unlawful manner; one who by taxation, injustice, or cruel punishment, or the demand of unreasonable services, imposes burdens and hardships on those under his control, which law and humanity do not authorize, or which the purposes of government do not require; a cruel master; an oppressor

  3. Tyrantnoun

    any one of numerous species of American clamatorial birds belonging to the family Tyrannidae; -- called also tyrant bird

  4. Tyrantverb

    to act like a tyrant; to play the tyrant; to tyrannical

Freebase

  1. Tyrant

    A tyrant, in its modern English usage, is a ruler of a cruel and oppressive character who is an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution, and/or one who has usurped legitimate sovereignty. The original Greek term, however, merely meant an authoritarian sovereign without reference to character, bearing no pejorative connotation during the Archaic and early Classical periods, though it was clearly a bad word to Plato, and on account of the decisive influence of political philosophy its negative connotations only increased down into the Hellenistic period, becoming synonymous with "Authenteo" - another term which carried authoritarian connotations around the turn of the first century A.D. Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as, "one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others". During the seventh and sixth centuries BC, tyranny was often looked upon as an intermediate stage between narrow oligarchy and more democratic forms of polity. However, in the late fifth and fourth centuries, a new kind of tyrant, the military dictator, arose, specifically in Sicily.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tyrant

    tī′rant, n. one who uses his power arbitrarily and oppressively: (orig.) an absolute monarch or irresponsible magistrate with unlimited powers or an overruling influence.—v.t. to tyrannise over.—n. Ty′ran (Spens.), a tyrant.—v.t. to play the tyrant over.—n. Tyr′anness (Spens.), a female tyrant.—adjs. Tyran′nic, -al, Tyr′annous, pertaining to or suiting a tyrant: unjustly severe: imperious: despotic.—advs. Tyran′nically, Tyr′annously.—n. Tyran′nicalness.—adj. Tyran′nicidal.—n. Tyran′nicide, the act of killing a tyrant: one who kills a tyrant.—n.pl. Tyran′nidæ, a family of Passerine birds, the typical genus Tyran′nus, the tyrant-birds or tyrant-flycatchers.—v.i. Tyr′annise, to act as a tyrant: to rule with oppressive severity.—v.t. to act the tyrant to.—adj. Tyr′annish.—n. Tyr′anny, the government or authority of a tyrant: absolute monarchy cruelly administered: oppression: cruelty: harshness. [O. Fr. tirant (Fr. tyran)—L. tyrannns—Gr. tyrannos (Doric koiranos).]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. tyrant

    A name given in modern times to an arbitrary and oppressive ruler, but originally applied, not necessarily to one who exercised power badly, but merely to one who had obtained it illegally, and therefore equivalent to our word usurper. If the one who thus rose to power as a “tyrant” happened to be a man of sense, and wisdom, and generosity, his “tyranny” might prove a blessing to a state torn by the animosities of selfish oligarchs, and be the theme of praise in after-ages, as was the case with the “tyrannies” of Pesistratos, Gelon, and others; but if he was insolent, rapacious, and cruel, then he sought to reduce the citizens to a worse than Egyptian bondage, and his name became infamous to all time. Such has been the fate of most of the “Thirty Tyrants of Athens.” It was the method of exercising authority pursued by these and similar usurpers that latterly, even in ancient times, gave the word tyrant that evil significance it has ever since uninterruptedly retained.

Suggested Resources

  1. tyrant

    Song lyrics by tyrant -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by tyrant on the Lyrics.com website.

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How to pronounce tyrant?

  1. Alex
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    Daniel
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How to say tyrant in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tyrant in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tyrant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of tyrant in a Sentence

  1. Barbara Tuchman:

    Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.

  2. Ehsan Sehgal:

    As a lawyer practices the law; similarly, the victimizer creates the victim, and the tyrant constitutes the tyranny; naturally, every object and subject has its executor. The solution is simple as only a diamond cuts the diamond.

  3. Bertrand Russell:

    A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.

  4. Lindsay Zanno:

    With a lethal combination of bone-crunching bite forces, stereoscopic vision, rapid growth rates, and colossal size, tyrant dinosaurs reigned uncontested for 15 million years leading up to the end-Cretaceous extinction -- but it wasn't always that way, when and how quickly tyrannosaurs went from wallflower to prom king has been vexing paleontologists for a long time. The only way to attack this problem was to get out there and find more data on these rare animals.

  5. Emily Brontë:

    The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don't turn against him, they crush those beneath them.

Images & Illustrations of tyrant

  1. tyranttyranttyranttyranttyrant

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large recently extinct long-horned European wild ox; considered one of the ancestors of domestic cattle
  • A. urus
  • B. flapper
  • C. calcaneus
  • D. flunkey

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