Definition of tyranny
1 : oppressive power every form of tyranny over the mind of man — Thomas Jefferson; especially : oppressive power exerted by government the tyranny of a police state
3 : a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force living under the tyranny of the clock — Dixon Wecter
4 : an oppressive, harsh, or unjust act : a tyrannical act workers who had suffered tyrannies
Examples of tyranny in a Sentence
Cars freed Americans, already infamous for their mobility, from the tyranny of train schedules. —Cynthia Crossen, Wall Street Journal, 7 May 2003
Berlin remains a central attraction, and the evanescence of tyranny is a highlight of the visit. —William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review, 27 Sept. 1999
For in creating a cultural orthodoxy designed to combat racism, urban disorder, and a legacy of oppression, we subject ourselves to delusional dogma, the tyranny of conformity, and language that rings of fascist imagery. —Gerald Early, Harper's, January 1997
The refugees were fleeing tyranny.
He was dedicated to ending the tyranny of slavery.
a nation ruled by tyranny
She felt lost in the bureaucratic tyrannies of the university system.
The king sought an absolute tyranny over the colonies.
Recent Examples of tyranny from the Web
Although no definitive agreement has been reached, the concept that the victims of Castro's tyranny may perceive some benefit from U.S.-Cuba transactions deserves to be considered.
America is not burdened with the history of tyranny and totalitarianism that haunts Russia.
For all that Istvan railed against the tyranny of death over human lives, his attitude toward basic road safety was at times wildly cavalier.
Apple’s AirPods free you from the tyranny and tangle of corded headphones.
But anyone who fears incompetence more than tyranny has plenty of evidence as well.
For decades after World War II, preventing economic concentration was understood as a bulwark against tyranny.
Weaving accounts by ordinary colonists into the sweep of events, Taylor undercuts the narrative of noble patriots standing up to monarchical tyranny.
Democratic allies also vote with us at the United Nations, go to war with us, support international treaties and norms, and stand with us against tyranny.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tyranny'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of tyranny
Middle English tyrannie, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, from Latin tyrannus tyrant
First Known Use: 14th century
TYRANNY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tyranny for English Language Learners
: cruel and unfair treatment by people with power over others
: a government in which all power belongs to one person : the rule or authority of a tyrant
TYRANNY Defined for Kids
Definition of tyranny for Students
1 : an act or the pattern of harsh, cruel, and unfair control over other people
2 : a government in which all power is in the hands of a single ruler
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