Definition of tyrannical in English:

tyrannical

adjective

  • 1Exercising power in a cruel or arbitrary way.

    ‘her father was portrayed as tyrannical and unloving’
    • ‘Then why does he become so tyrannical when he's questioned?’
    • ‘They do not speak honestly about some of the world's most tyrannical regimes.’
    • ‘Finding the strict regime unnecessarily repressive on the kids, he drafts them into a choir, much to the chagrin of the tyrannical head teacher.’
    • ‘No, they would not let themselves fall under some cruel tyrannical usurper.’
    • ‘But she couldn't imagine Drake being cruel and tyrannical.’
    • ‘It is hard to imagine that a person could support such a tyrannical regime.’
    • ‘Both were wars of choice, waged against tyrannical regimes that did not immediately threaten the United States.’
    • ‘If not, we will be waging military campaigns against new tyrannical regimes over and over again.’
    • ‘In our society it is not the tyrannical regimes with dictatorial and despotic power that destroys our freedom.’
    • ‘He has become a student of one of the most tyrannical leaders in history.’
    • ‘Cruel and tyrannical, he consciously sought to make himself a despot.’
    • ‘The West backs up the most tyrannical regimes throughout the region.’
    • ‘Local officials are portrayed as corrupt and tyrannical but the central leadership is described as paying serious attention to the problems.’
    • ‘When the people were attacked, they would rally behind their dear leader, no matter how tyrannical or cruel he was.’
    • ‘The problem is not simply that we allow arms suppliers to the poor and tyrannical to operate in this country; it is much worse.’
    • ‘New Zealanders have those freedoms, which set us apart from tyrannical regimes where Governments tell people what they can and cannot do.’
    • ‘Indeed, opposition to tyrannical powers is the highest expression of patriotism, American style.’
    • ‘Anne had told me that Dominic had become cruel and tyrannical.’
    • ‘Absolutist tyrannies are far more likely than democracies to breed absolutist tyrannical resistance groups willing to do anything to fight back.’
    • ‘So private tyrannies become tyrannical by buying up some of the trade policies of democratic governments.’
    dictatorial, despotic, autocratic, oppressive, repressive, fascistic, tyrannous, absolute, totalitarian, arbitrary, undemocratic, anti-democratic, illiberal
    authoritarian, domineering, dominating, overbearing, high-handed, imperious, bullying, harsh, strict, iron-handed, iron-fisted, severe, cruel, brutal, ruthless, unjust
    neronian
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Characteristic of tyranny; oppressive and controlling.
      ‘a momentary quieting of her tyrannical appetite’
      • ‘He declared it to be anti-democratic and tyrannical.’
      • ‘It wasn't a victory for liberty, only a transition from one tyranny to another, because ANY system of governance is, to some extent, tyrannical.’
      • ‘The course of David's own career was held to express an unhealthy identity of tyrannical power with pedagogical authority.’
      • ‘Our aim was to free the public from tyrannical and illegal behaviour, to annihilate anarchy and strengthen the central government.’
      • ‘The thirteen colonies began with a defensive revolution against tyrannical oppression and they were victorious.’
      • ‘Of course, the consent decrees were originally put into action because the police abused their power to a tyrannical level.’
      • ‘Religious sects have also been templates on which hierarchies form, with ideal opportunities for individual men to wield tyrannical power.’
      • ‘Is it not then our job to reduce the tyrannical power of our government and once again allow men to live, trade and interact as they see fit?’
      • ‘But he was forced to flee to Athens when the revolt was crushed, and was prosecuted for having held tyrannical power in Chersonesus.’
      • ‘He aims to create a new majority of right-wingers that can wreak tyrannical havoc over the rest of us.’
      • ‘Diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions, for example, are useful means of engagement with tyrannical regimes.’
      • ‘There was no way he was going to give up or moderate his tyrannical power except at the barrel of a gun.’
      • ‘It is the democratic left which should be most enraged by the history of that tyrannical empire and by the good men and women who compromised the cause by sticking with it.’
      • ‘The complete right to organize for political ends guards against the danger that majorities might impose tyrannical legislation.’
      • ‘That would have taught us all a salutary lesson against tyrannical and unjustified government action, wouldn't it?’
      • ‘Melanie is thrust into an unfamiliar family full of secrets, where Uncle Phillip pulls the strings, creating a tyrannical hold over the household.’
      • ‘The Federation was a growing tyrannical power that was spreading across the Earth at an alarming rate, due to its vast military strength.’
      • ‘Not that their rule was considered tyrannical or arbitrary.’
      • ‘The second is that tyrannical oppression is a paradigmatic offense against the natural order.’
      • ‘Only their lack of a tradition of liberty has held them back by keeping them under the control of tyrannical governments.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Old French tyrannique, via Latin from Greek turannikos, from turannos (see tyrant).

Pronunciation:

tyrannical

/təˈranək(ə)l/