tyrannical

adjective
ty·​ran·​ni·​cal | \ tə-ˈra-ni-kəl How to pronounce tyrannical (audio) , tī-\
variants: or less commonly tyrannic \ tə-​ˈra-​nik How to pronounce tyrannic (audio) , tī-​ \

Definition of tyrannical

: being or characteristic of a tyrant or tyranny : despotic tyrannical rule a tyrannical ruler

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Other Words from tyrannical

tyrannically \ tə-​ˈra-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tyrannically (audio) , tī-​ \ adverb
tyrannicalness \ tə-​ˈra-​ni-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce tyrannicalness (audio) , tī-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tyrannical

Synonyms

absolute, arbitrary, autocratic (also autocratical), czarist (also tsarist), despotic, dictatorial, monocratic, tyrannous

Antonyms

limited

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Examples of tyrannical in a Sentence

Everyone was afraid of their overbearing and tyrannical boss. a tyrannical ruler whose terrible reign was marked by unceasing violence

Recent Examples on the Web

Finally, the city of Newcastle and the Toon Army would be saved from the tyrannical incompetency of the Mike Ashley era! SI.com, "Rafa Benitez's Exit From Newcastle Confirms Toon Army's Worst Fears Under Mike Ashley's Ownership," 24 June 2019 The tyrannical Captain blatantly blames the Austrian Archduke for everyone’s problems – even for the men contracting TB. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "Theater review: Lots of reasons to experience ‘Archduke’," 13 June 2019 What happened is perhaps best viewed not as tyrannical but as isolationist, more akin to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "The world agrees there's a plastic waste crisis—can it agree on a solution?," 25 Mar. 2019 This tyrannical anti-American regime should not have nuclear weapons. Fox News, "Hannity: The Mueller investigation is a perjury trap," 2 May 2018 In colonial times long guns and rifles were commonly kept and carried to be used to defend against tyrannical government and billigerents. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Dianne, Get Your Gun," 5 Sep. 2018 The first novel introduces readers to a villager named Heloise who witnesses the brutality of the tyrannical Order, which nominally protects the world from wizards with the power to summon horrific demons. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 As a result, one toxic executive can spawn an entire collection of tyrannical bosses. Marie G. Mcintyre, The Seattle Times, "How bad is this workplace? Bosses covered the windows to keep workers from looking out," 14 Nov. 2018 Though he’d been dressed up as a general as a little boy, Mr. Kim hardly seemed to have the résumé to run a tyrannical regime. John Lyons, WSJ, "From ‘Punk Kid’ to 21st Century Tyrant: Kim Jong Un Seizes His Moment," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tyrannical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tyrannical

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tyrannical

Latin tyrannicus, from Greek tyrannikos, from tyrannos tyrant

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Dictionary Entries near tyrannical

Tyr

tyramine

Tyranni

tyrannical

tyrannicidal

tyrannicide

tyrannid

Statistics for tyrannical

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tyrannical

The first known use of tyrannical was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for tyrannical

tyrannical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tyrannical

: using power over people in a way that is cruel and unfair

tyrannical

adjective
ty·​ran·​ni·​cal | \ tə-ˈra-ni-kəl How to pronounce tyrannical (audio) \

Kids Definition of tyrannical

: relating to or like that of tyranny or a tyrant tyrannical acts

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Comments on tyrannical

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