A Dictionary of the English Language
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Tyránt. n.s. [τύραννος; tyrannus, Latin. Rowland contends that this word, with the correspondent Greek and Latin, is derived from tir, Welch and Erse, land, and rhanner, Welch, to share, q. d. tirhanner, a sharer, or divider of and among his vassals.]

  1. An absolute monarch governing imperiously.

  2. A cruel despotick and severe master; an oppressor.

    Love to a yielding heart is a king, but to a resisting is a tyrant. Sidney, b. i.

    I would not be the villain that thou think'st,
    For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp,
    And the rich east to boot.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    Dissembling courtesy! how fine this tyrant
    Can tickle where she wounds!
    Shakesp. Cymb.

    The house of woe, and dungeon of our tyrant. Milton.

    Consider those grand agents and lieutenants of the devil, by whom he scourges and plagues the world under him, to wit, tyrants; and was there ever any tyrant who was not also false and persidious! South's Sermons

    Thou meant'st to kill a tyrant, not a king. Dryden.

    When tyrant custom had not shackl'd man,
    But free to follow nature was the mode.

Sources: Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · Rowlands, Henry (2) · Sidney, Philip (140) · South, Robert (158) · Thomson, James (73)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Tyrant." 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. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/tyrant/.

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