tyr·​an·​nize | \ ˈtir-ə-ˌnīz How to pronounce tyrannize (audio) \
tyrannized; tyrannizing

Definition of tyrannize

intransitive verb

: to exercise arbitrary oppressive power or severity some ways the living tyrannize over the dying— Thomas Powers

transitive verb

: to treat tyrannically : oppress a regime that tyrannizes its citizens

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Other Words from tyrannize

tyrannizer noun

Examples of tyrannize in a Sentence

a government that tyrannizes its own people
Recent Examples on the Web In such societies, counters Madison, a majority will tyrannize the minority. Corey Robin, The New York Review of Books, "What People Power Looks Like in a Pandemic Democracy," 13 Apr. 2020

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

First Known Use of tyrannize

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tyrannize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tyrannize. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for tyrannize


How to pronounce tyrannize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tyrannize

: to use power to treat (people) in a cruel and unfair way

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More from Merriam-Webster on tyrannize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tyrannize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tyrannize

Spanish Central: Translation of tyrannize

Nglish: Translation of tyrannize for Spanish Speakers

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