[ tir-uh-nee ]
/ ˈtɪr ə ni /

noun, plural tyr·an·nies.

arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
undue severity or harshness.
a cruel or harsh act or proceeding; an arbitrary, oppressive, or tyrannical action.

Origin of tyranny

1325–75; Middle English tyrannie < Old French < Medieval Latin tyrannia, equivalent to Latin tyrann(us) tyrant + -ia -y3


pre·tyr·an·ny, noun, plural pre·tyr·an·nies.

Example sentences from the Web for tyranny

British Dictionary definitions for tyranny

/ (ˈtɪrənɪ) /

noun plural -nies

  1. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
  2. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authority the teacher's tyranny
any harsh discipline or oppression the tyranny of the clock
a political unit ruled by a tyrant
(esp in ancient Greece) government by a usurper
a tyrannical act

Derived forms of tyranny

tyrannous, adjective tyrannously, adverb tyrannousness, noun

Word Origin for tyranny

C14: from Old French tyrannie, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, from Latin tyrannus tyrant