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 tyrannical (audio) , tī-​ \

Definition of tyrannical

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

Other Words from tyrannical

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for tyrannical



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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 Her loss had spawned in him a drive, an almost tyrannical need to know everything, to have what had happened in those final moments described down to the smallest detail. Kristen Roupenian, The New Yorker, 20 June 2022 At the end of Game of Thrones, Snow kills the tyrannical Queen Daenerys Targaryen, is exiled from Westeros, and is last seen on horseback journeying into the snowy woods north of the Wall with the Wildlings. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 17 June 2022 Unlike the cows in George Orwell’s novel, who are mistreated by a neglectful farmer and then duped by a tyrannical pig and his brainwashed henchman, Animal Farm was built on a basis of respect for their animals. Noah Lederman, Bon Appétit, 9 June 2022 The sisters’ mother, an immigrant and a tyrannical, destructive force in their lives, died recently, and Eva thinks that Julie may be tilting at the C.C.P. as a way of settling scores of her own. The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 The mountain of Marxist historiography is, like the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, a monument to faith turned tyrannical. Dominic Green, WSJ, 20 May 2022 The response to Putin continues to be reactionary, and seems out of touch with reality of his aggression and tyrannical behavior. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 When Mother was eight years old, her mother died of diphtheria, and her tyrannical Grandmother Hall refused to sanction more than occasional visits from her father. James Roosevelt, Good Housekeeping, 5 May 2022 The state Legislature may be our last line of defense against a tyrannical federal government. Arkansas Online, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tyrannical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tyrannical. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for tyrannical


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tyrannical

Nglish: Translation of tyrannical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tyrannical for Arabic Speakers


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