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Definition of "tyranny" []

  • A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power. (noun)
  • The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler. (noun)
  • Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: "I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” ( Thomas Jefferson). (noun)
  • Use of absolute power. (noun)
  • A tyrannical act. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "tyranny" in a sentence
  • "One reason is what we call the "tyranny of the shoulds.""
  • "French President Nicolas Sarkozy has paid tribute to seven French soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan, saying they fought in a just war against what he called the "tyranny" of the Taliban movement."
  • "This introduces what I call the tyranny of choice."