Tyranny “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “tyranny” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and “Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

The rule of a despot or tyrant; absolutism.

 

(Bouvier’s)

The violation of those laws which regulate the division and the exercises of the sovereign power of the state. It is a violation of its constitution.

 

(Black’s)

Arbitrary or despotically government; the severe and autocratic exercise of sovereign power, either vested constitutionally in one ruler, or usurped by him by breaking down the division and distribution of governmental powers.

 

(Webster’s)

TYR’ANNY, n.

1. Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression.
2. Cruel government or discipline; as the tyranny of a master.
3. Unresisted and cruel power.
4. Absolute monarchy cruelly administered.
5. Severity; rigor; inclemency.
The tyranny o’ th’ open night.
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