intransitive verb-·nized·, -·niz·ing
- to govern as a tyrant; rule with absolute power
- to govern or use authority harshly or cruelly; be oppressive
Origin of tyrannizeMiddle French tyranniser from Medieval Latin tyrannizare
to treat tyrannically; oppress
verbtyr·an·nized, tyr·an·niz·ing, tyr·an·niz·es
To treat tyrannically; oppress.
- To exercise absolute power: “So it is the nature of such persons to insult and tyrannize over little people” ( Henry Fielding )
- To rule as a tyrant.
Origin of tyrannizeMiddle English from Old French tyranniser from tyran tyrant; see tyrant .