Tyr´ant Pronunciation: tī´rant
|n.||1.||An absolute ruler; a sovereign unrestrained by law or constitution; a usurper of sovereignty.|
|2.||Specifically, a monarch, or other ruler or master, who uses power to oppress his subjects; a person who exercises unlawful authority, or lawful authority in an unlawful manner; one who by taxation, injustice, or cruel punishment, or the demand of unreasonable services, imposes burdens and hardships on those under his control, which law and humanity do not authorize, or which the purposes of government do not require; a cruel master; an oppressor.|
|3.||(Zool.) Any one of numerous species of American clamatorial birds belonging to the family Tyrannidæ; - called also tyrant bird.|
|v. i.||1.||To act like a tyrant; to play the tyrant; be to tyrannical.|
TYRANT, government. The chief magistrate of the state, whether legitimate or
otherwise, who violates the constitution to act arbitrarily contrary to
justice. Toull. tit. prel. n. 32.
2. The term tyrant and usurper, are sometimes used as synonymous,
because usurpers are almost always tyrants; usurpation is itself a
tyrannical act, but properly speaking, the words usurper and tyrant convey
different ideas. A king may become a tyrant, although legitimate, when he
acts despotically; while a usurper may cease to be a tyrant by governing
according to the dictates of justice.
3. This term is sometimes applied to persons in authority who violate
the laws and act arbitrarily towards others. Vide Despotism.
, absolute monarch
, absolute ruler
, all-powerful ruler
, hard master
, strong man