Definition of tyrannical in English:


Pronunciation /təˈranək(ə)l/ /təˈrænək(ə)l/

See synonyms for tyrannical

Translate tyrannical into Spanish


  • 1Exercising power in a cruel or arbitrary way.

    ‘her father was portrayed as tyrannical and unloving’
    • ‘Absolutist tyrannies are far more likely than democracies to breed absolutist tyrannical resistance groups willing to do anything to fight back.’
    • ‘New Zealanders have those freedoms, which set us apart from tyrannical regimes where Governments tell people what they can and cannot do.’
    • ‘So private tyrannies become tyrannical by buying up some of the trade policies of democratic governments.’
    • ‘It is hard to imagine that a person could support such a tyrannical regime.’
    • ‘Indeed, opposition to tyrannical powers is the highest expression of patriotism, American style.’
    • ‘Cruel and tyrannical, he consciously sought to make himself a despot.’
    • ‘Anne had told me that Dominic had become cruel and tyrannical.’
    • ‘But she couldn't imagine Drake being cruel and tyrannical.’
    • ‘Both were wars of choice, waged against tyrannical regimes that did not immediately threaten the United States.’
    • ‘When the people were attacked, they would rally behind their dear leader, no matter how tyrannical or cruel he was.’
    • ‘No, they would not let themselves fall under some cruel tyrannical usurper.’
    • ‘They do not speak honestly about some of the world's most tyrannical regimes.’
    • ‘If not, we will be waging military campaigns against new tyrannical regimes over and over again.’
    • ‘The West backs up the most tyrannical regimes throughout the region.’
    • ‘In our society it is not the tyrannical regimes with dictatorial and despotic power that destroys our freedom.’
    • ‘Local officials are portrayed as corrupt and tyrannical but the central leadership is described as paying serious attention to the problems.’
    • ‘Then why does he become so tyrannical when he's questioned?’
    • ‘Finding the strict regime unnecessarily repressive on the kids, he drafts them into a choir, much to the chagrin of the tyrannical head teacher.’
    • ‘He has become a student of one of the most tyrannical leaders in history.’
    • ‘The problem is not simply that we allow arms suppliers to the poor and tyrannical to operate in this country; it is much worse.’
    dictatorial, despotic, autocratic, oppressive, repressive, fascistic, tyrannous, absolute, totalitarian, arbitrary, undemocratic, anti-democratic, illiberal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Characteristic of tyranny; oppressive and controlling.
      ‘a momentary quieting of her tyrannical appetite’
      • ‘Only their lack of a tradition of liberty has held them back by keeping them under the control of tyrannical governments.’
      • ‘The second is that tyrannical oppression is a paradigmatic offense against the natural order.’
      • ‘The thirteen colonies began with a defensive revolution against tyrannical oppression and they were victorious.’
      • ‘There was no way he was going to give up or moderate his tyrannical power except at the barrel of a gun.’
      • ‘The Federation was a growing tyrannical power that was spreading across the Earth at an alarming rate, due to its vast military strength.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Religious sects have also been templates on which hierarchies form, with ideal opportunities for individual men to wield tyrannical power.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions, for example, are useful means of engagement with tyrannical regimes.’
      • ‘The course of David's own career was held to express an unhealthy identity of tyrannical power with pedagogical authority.’
      • ‘Not that their rule was considered tyrannical or arbitrary.’
      • ‘Our aim was to free the public from tyrannical and illegal behaviour, to annihilate anarchy and strengthen the central government.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Melanie is thrust into an unfamiliar family full of secrets, where Uncle Phillip pulls the strings, creating a tyrannical hold over the household.’
      • ‘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.’


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