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

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 the process, these majority ethnic coalitions tyrannize and marginalize other groups, particularly those that are not members of the coalition. John Mukum Mbaku, Washington Examiner, 18 Mar. 2021 In Portsmouth, Virginia, cops have been systematically using their state power to tyrannize political enemies. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, 28 Aug. 2020 In such societies, counters Madison, a majority will tyrannize the minority. Corey Robin, The New York Review of Books, 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

Learn More About tyrannize

Time Traveler for tyrannize

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near tyrannize




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tyrannize

Cite this Entry

“Tyrannize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tyrannize. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on tyrannize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tyrannize

Nglish: Translation of tyrannize for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!