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 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, "Catastrophe in the Horn of Africa," 18 Mar. 2021 In Portsmouth, Virginia, cops have been systematically using their state power to tyrannize political enemies. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Police Are Pretty Sure They’re Going to Get Away With It," 28 Aug. 2020 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.

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First Known Use of tyrannize

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for tyrannize

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

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Last Updated

21 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tyrannize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tyrannize. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for tyrannize



English Language Learners Definition of tyrannize

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tyrannize

Nglish: Translation of tyrannize for Spanish Speakers

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