A Dictionary of the English Language
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Tyranny

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2121, 2120

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2121, 2120

Týranny. n.s. [tyrannis, Latin; τυραννὶς; tyrannie, Fr.]

  1. Absolute monarchy imperiously administered.

                Our grand foe,
    Who now triumphs, and, in th' excess of joy,
    Sole reigning holds the tyranny of heav'n.
    Milton.

    The cities fell often under tyrannies, which spring naturally out of popular governments. Temple.

  2. Unresisted and cruel power.

                Boundless intemperance
    In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
    Th' untimely emptying of the happy throne,
    And fall of many kings.
    Shakespeare.

  3. Cruel government; rigorous command.

                    Bleed, bleed, poor country!
    Great tyranny lay thou thy basis sure,
    For goodness dares not check thee.
    Shakespeare.

    Suspicions dispose kings to tyranny, and husbands to jealousy. Bacon.

              God in judgment just,
    Subjects him from without to violent lords;
    Who oft as undeservedly inthral
    His outward freedom; tyranny must be.
    Milton.

  4. Severity; rigour; inclemency.

    The tyranny o' the open night's too rough
    For nature to endure.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · Temple, William (54)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Tyranny." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2774.


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