- The definition of tyranny is a government or ruler with total power.
An example of tyranny is a country run by a cruel dictator.
- Tyranny is defined as severe or harsh treatment.
An example of tyranny is someone putting someone in jail for years for a small crime.
- the office, authority, government, or jurisdiction of a tyrant, or absolute ruler
- oppressive and unjust government; despotism
- very cruel and unjust use of power or authority
- harshness; rigor; severity
- a tyrannical act
Origin: Middle English tirannie from Old French from Midieval Latin tyrannia from Glassical Greek
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. tyr·an·nies
- A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
- The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
- Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: “I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” (Thomas Jefferson).
- a. Use of absolute power.b. A tyrannical act.
- Extreme harshness or severity; rigor.
Origin: Middle English tyrannie, from Old French, from Late Latin tyrannia, from Greek turanniā, from turannos, tyrant.