- The definition of a tyrant is a cruel ruler or authority figure.
An example of a tyrant was Joseph Stalin.
- an absolute ruler; specif., in ancient Greece, etc., one who seized sovereignty illegally; usurper
- a cruel, oppressive ruler; despot
- any person who exercises authority in an oppressive manner; cruel master
- a tyrannical influence
Origin of tyrantMiddle English tirant ; from Old French tiran, tirant (with -t after ending -ant of present participle ) ; from Classical Latin tyrannus ; from Classical Greek tyrannos
- An extremely oppressive, unjust, or cruel ruler.
- An absolute ruler who governs without restrictions, especially one who seized power illegally.
- An oppressive, harsh, arbitrary person: My boss is a tyrant.
Origin of tyrantMiddle English, from Old French, alteration of tyran, from Latin tyrannus, from Greek turannos.
- (historical, ancient Greece) A usurper; one who gains power and rules extralegally, distinguished from kings elevated by election or succession
- 1382, Wycliffe's Bible, Dan.â€‰Iâ€‰3
- The sonys of Yrael, and of the kyngus bloode, and the children of tyrauntis.
- 1737, William Whiston translating Josephus, History of the Jewish Wars, Iâ€‰xiiâ€‰Â§2
- Cassius... set tyrants over all Syria.
- A despot; a ruler who governs unjustly, cruelly, or harshly
- (by extension) Any person who abuses the power of position or office to treat others unjustly, cruelly, or harshly
- (by extension) A villain; a person or thing who uses strength or violence to treat others unjustly, cruelly, or harshly
- (ornithology) The tyrant birds, members of the family TyrannidÃ¦, which often fight or drive off other birds which approach their nests
- (uncommon) Tyrannical, tyrannous; like, characteristic of, or in the manner of a tyrant
- c.â€‰1600, William Shakespeare, As you Like it, Iâ€‰iiâ€‰278
- 1775, Abigail Adams, letter in Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution (1876), 124
- ...a reconciliation between our no longer parent state, but tyrant state, and these colonies.
(third-person singular simple present tyrants, present participle tyranting, simple past and past participle tyranted)
- (obsolete) To act like a tyrant; to be tyrannical.
From Middle English tyrant and tyrante, from Old French tyrant, from the addition of a terminal -t to Old French tiran (cp. French tyran) via a back-formation related to the development of French present participles out of the Latin -ans form, from Latin tyrannus (â€œdespotâ€), from Ancient Greek Ï„ÏÏÎ±Î½Î½Î¿Ï‚ (turannos, â€œusurper, monarch, despotâ€), of uncertain origin.